On the eve of a rally in Florida, Donald Trump mocked Ron DeSantis in front of a national audience. At a rally in Pennsylvania, the former President read over recent polling results for the GOP nomination.
Trump took the chance to unveil a nickname for the Governor of his adopted home state: “Ron DeSanctimonious.”
“We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like nobody has ever seen before,” Trump said of a potential 2024 Primary. “There it is, Trump at 71%, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%.”
Trump went on to take shots at his own former Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. But the fresh swipe at DeSantis seems particularly notable as Trump’s next planned rally takes place in Miami. The President will campaign for GOP U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio Sunday as Republicans seek to win a majority in the Senate, but he noticeably snubbed DeSantis for the event and didn’t invite the Governor to share the stage.
DeSantis in fact will hold a rally in Sarasota at the exact same time Trump’s event in Miami is set to begin. The Governor will then follow that up with a rally and concert in Fort Myers headlined by singer Parker McCollum at the Alico Arena.
But many of the major political figures in Florida who have rallied with the Governor at other stops on his “Don’t Tread on Florida” Tour appear on a pre-announced guest list for Trump’s rally. That includes Agriculture Commissioner nominee Wilton Simpson. It also includes state Sen. Joe Gruters, Chair of the Republican Party of Florida and a Sarasota resident who will leave the town where DeSantis is planning a rally to instead emcee the Trump event in Miami.
The dueling rallies already have been widely seen as a preview of a potential, if not inevitable, Primary showdown between Trump and DeSantis in the lead-up to the 2024 General Election. Most assume DeSantis, who is favored to win re-election Tuesday over Democrat Charlie Crist, will run for President in 2024, and press reports Trump could announce another White House run as soon as Nov. 14.