Trump escalates attacks on Ron DeSantis as a 2024 clash brews


Former President Donald Trump is bringing a new urgency to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Rushing to turn the Republican base against his strongest potential challenger in 2024.

Out is “Ron Dissanctimonious,” Trump’s unrealistic attempt at a nickname.

Trump’s truth social website has been publicized by. What DeSantis brands as terms that could repel GOP voters.

“Rhino globalist,” Trump raged last week. Using the pejorative acronym “Republican in name only.” On Tuesday, he posted twice to draw attention to a 2021 blog post from a site called. The Hill Reporter, which showed a photo of DeSantis. With several young women during his brief stint as a high school teacher more than 20 years ago. Trump’s posts questioned, without evidence, whether DeSantis was inappropriate with his female students.

todaystrend News has not confirmed the authenticity of the photo. DeSantis did not comment on it.

Trump, whose endorsement helped DeSantis, a then-underdog. Advance from the primary and win the governorship in 2018.

Also characterized his onetime ally as untrustworthy.

DeSantis, who has yet to launch a presidential campaign, has not been as or involved as Trump. But he is beginning to respond to his own veiled insults.

Asked last week about the former president’s attacks on how he handled the pandemic. DeSantis pointed to his own re-election victory, a subtle reminder. That voters rejected Trump after one term.

At a news conference Wednesday, a reporter began to refer to Trump’s. Posts in a question to DeSantis, but the governor cut him off, saying, “I understand you want the debate.”

He then offered another pointed jab at Trump.

“I spend my time delivering results for the people of Florida. And fighting against [President] Joe Biden,” DeSantis said. “I don’t spend my time trying to discredit other Republicans.”

Many national polls show Trump — the only declared Republican candidate for the 2024.

Nomination — leading a crowded GOP field, with DeSantis established in second place. But polling released this week by the Club for Growth. A conservative organization aligned with Trump. Showed DeSantis ahead of Trump in a head-to-head battle. Another recent poll in New Hampshire. Which is scheduled to hold the first GOP primary. Showed DeSantis with a double-digit lead over Trump and others.

DeSantis’ favorability rating is generally higher among GOP. Respondents than past Trump voters in this poll. A Republican strategist close to Trump said the former. President is aiming to define DeSantis and neutralize what he recognizes as a threat.

“People who like Trump don’t have a negative view of DeSantis. Because they see him as a Trump supporter,” said the strategist. Who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak . “So what happens when Trump’s attacks start to erode his favorability? Do DeSantis is going to be in a stronger position than he is today? Because it’s pretty clear to me that he has nowhere to go.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, is expected. To announce a campaign for the GOP nomination next week. Several others are considering a run. Including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire. All will compete with DeSantis for votes from Republicans eager to move on from Trump.

DeSantis is not expected to decide on his candidacy. Until later this year, after Florida’s legislative session ends. Several operatives from his 2022 re-election. Campaign remain in his political orbit, presumably ready to deploy for a White House bid or. In the meantime, a supportive super PAC. That could help DeSantis absorb some of Trump’s blow by responding to them on his behalf. .

A spokesman for DeSantis declined to comment. Wednesday on Trump or the governor’s immediate political plans.

One GOP consultant with friends from both parties wondered whether. Trump’s attacks would get off message by stirring up. The fan base DeSantis has attracted online.

“People are looking for a pressure or trajectory to provoke Trump.

” Said the consultant, who requested anonymity to speak . “But it’s like a boxer jabbing to gauge his opponent’s reaction. DeSantis himself has decided to stay clear of the front. And the front, but how his surrogates react – and overreact – is telling. In the age of social media, a candidate can’t control how his most vocal supporters react. So it’s impossible to stay completely on message.”

For now, though, DeSantis seems content to stick with his not-so-subtle contrast.

“DeSantis is leaning into [the narrative]. That national Republicans have underperformed in recent years. When he won historic re-election in Florida,” said Alex Conant. A Republican strategist who worked on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign. “Republicans want to win, and right now DeSantis looks like a winner.”

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