Befuddled Donald Trump Says Ron DeSantis Begged him for Endorsement While Crying
Donald Trump is going on the offensive against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Even though DeSantis hasn’t announced plans to run
Donald Trump is going on the offensive against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Even though DeSantis hasn’t announced plans to run in 2024, he’s the current Republican favorite and many bets are being placed in his favor.
Trump feels as though DeSantis’ very existence is a betrayal these days, and wastes no chances to take a stab at the popular authoritarian governor who has been described by former classmates as sadistic.
This week, Trump hit DeSantis below the belt, clearly looking to kneecap him before he can get up and running for 2024.
See: PANICKED DONALD TRUMP LASHES OUT AT RIVALS, DISTRACTING FROM ATTEMPT AT WHIPPING UP A JANUARY 6 VERSION 2.0
Donald Trump Says Ron DeSantis Begged
Donald Trump claims that Ron DeSantis called him before the 2018 primary in tears begging for an endorsement:— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) February 2, 2023
“He said, ‘if you endorse me, I’ll win,’ and there were tears coming down from his eyes.” pic.twitter.com/ndWuXNqZU4
The rivalry between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis is almost humorous. After all, at one time they would stand shoulder to shoulder, grit their teeth and grin as though they were the best of friends.
But all pretense has been stripped away in the past two years.
After the January 6 insurrection attempt by supporters of twice-impeached Trump, DeSantis began distancing himself from the former POTUS.
The Florida Gov opted instead to focus on launching culture wars in his home state, cracking down on laws that provide gender affirming care, teach about Black history, and other hot ticket items that make him wildly popular but dangerous.
It’s made DeSantis incredibly popular among GOP hardlines – conservatives who supported Trump because he could win, but would prefer someone more traditional and focused on conservative values.
Enter: Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has the gumption and fight of MAGA, but the doggedness and religious fervor of conservative dreams.
And Trump knows it.
Vanity Fair reports, “In an interview on Thursday, Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he was single-handedly responsible for getting DeSantis elected as governor in 2018. While this is a claim Trump has made before, this time he added a bit more flourish to the story. ‘Ron DeSantis got elected because of me,’ he told Hewitt. ‘You remember, he had nothing, he was dead, he was leaving the race, he came over and he begged me, begged me, for an endorsement. He was getting ready to drop out…. He said, ‘If you endorse me, I’ll win,’ and there were tears coming down from his eyes.’”
While there’s no way to know if it happened for sure, it sounds a lot like a tactic Trump often uses called “sir stories.”
In “sir stories,” Trump will quote someone in his circle – usually unnamed – and imitate their supposed support of something he’s done.
Trump’s “sir stories” are almost always complete fabrications, and it’s likely this story about DeSantis has elements of the truth but is also mostly fabricated.
Trump also enjoys saying people have “begged like a dog” in the past, so it’s likely he will eventually turn that terminology on DeSantis as well.
The Danger of Donald Trump Isolating Supporters of his Competitors
Donald Trump is clearly rallying the troops and preparing for 2024 day by day.
However, he could be making a grave mistake by zeroing in his competitors this early and turning 2024 into another mud-slinging election season.
After all, one of the reasons that Trump has fallen so far and so fast in popularity is because people are weary of the controversy-laden MAGA philosophy, and tired of rapid-fire public feuds and insults.
It may have been energizing and fun for awhile, but even Trump’s most stalwart 2016 supporters are tired and ready for some stability.
The COVID pandemic changed the game entirely, with people forced to reckon with their day to day lives and stop focusing on the circus in the White House.
And Trump just can’t stop putting his foot in his mouth. Even though his main defense against culpability for January 6, 2021, has been that he didn’t incite violence and does not condone it, he keeps inciting and condoning.
Just this week, Trump shared a comment from a supporter suggesting that they were ready for another violent insurrection attempt, and “Locked and LOADED.”
It’s a grim reminder that Trump politics are not the kind of politics Americans can afford to ignore.
No longer relegated to character assassination, mud-slinging and wheeling and dealing with lobbyists, the MAGA brand is about violence and terror -if Trump is to be believed.
But that much fervor requires energy, and Trump’s supporters could quickly lose steam if he spends all of his time attacking his rivals in the GOP.