Former President Donald Trump's promised announcement is still on for Tuesday — and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis has not said a thing — but the salvos are flying already.
Trump blasted the media for being "all in" on to trying to foment primary challengers, and "Ron DeSanctimonious" for lacking loyalty after Trump claims he pulled the governor across in finish line in 2018.
"Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!" Trump wrote in a Save America statement Thursday night, posted to Truth Social. "The fake news asks him if he's going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, 'I'm only focused on the governor's race, I'm not looking into the future.' Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that's really not the right answer."
Trump said he saved DeSantis' political career before, having aided his first campaign for governor in Florida in 2018.
"Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017 — he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers," Trump wrote. "Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would endorse him, he could win. I didn't know Adam so I said, 'Let's give it a shot, Ron.'
"When I endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off. Years later, they were the exact words that Adam Putnam used in describing Ron's endorsement. He said, 'I went from having it made, with no competition, to immediately getting absolutely clobbered after your endorsement.'"
"DeSanctimonious," according to insiders, is a nickname that was directed at the Florida governor after a campaign ad gave all the credit for the state's coronavirus response to DeSantis, who the ad suggested was delivered to Florida by the hand of God.
No, Trump wrote, it was his doing. DeSantis would not have been governor, and Florida would have been in the hands of Democrats without him, according to Trump.
"I then got Ron by the 'Star' of the Democrat Party, Andrew Gillum (who was later revealed to be a 'crack head'), by having two massive rallies with tens of thousands of people at each one," the statement continued. "I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart.
"I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Sen. Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his election from being stolen."
Trump laments DeSantis' unwillingness to publicly back off a 2024 primary campaign, allowing the media to foment more ways to attack him.
"NewsCorp, which is Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and the no longer great New York Post (bring back Col!), is all in for Gov. Ron DeSanctimonious, an average Republican governor with great public relations, who didn't have to close up his state, but did, unlike other Republican governors, whose overall numbers for a Republican, were just average — middle of the pack — including COVID, and who has the advantage of sunshine, where people from badly run states up north would go no matter who the governor was, just like I did!" Trump's statement began.
Trump dabbled with calling his potential 2024 primary challenger "DeSanctimonious" on Saturday night in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to mostly GOP establishment panic, but he did endorse him Sunday and tell his supporters to vote for him at Save America rallies in Miami, Florida, and Dayton, Ohio, the next two nights.
Trump says the media is feeding into the Florida governor's presidential prospects as another way to keep "coming after" him.
"This is just like 2015 and 2016, a media assault (collusion!), when Fox News fought me to the end until I won, and then they couldn't have been nicer or more supportive," Trump wrote.
"The Wall Street Journal loved low energy Jeb Bush, and a succession of other people as they rapidly disappeared from sight, finally falling in line with me after I easily knocked them out, one by one. We're in exactly the same position now. They will keep coming after us, MAGA, but ultimately, we will win. Put America First and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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