(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump released a statement on Thursday slamming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for being an “average” governor and “playing games” amid a wave of positive press for DeSantis following the midterm elections.
“NewsCorp, which is Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and the no longer great New York Post (bring back Col!), is all in for Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations,” wrote Trump, repeating a nickname he first used for the governor last week. Col Allan, the former editor-in-chief of the New York Post, retired in 2016.
Trump attributed DeSantis’s political success as governor to the weather in his state, saying that he “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!”
The former president claimed that his endorsement of DeSantis won him the Florida gubernatorial election in 2018.
Trump said that DeSantis approached him in “desperate shape” while he was “politically dead” in 2017 to ask for an endorsement.
He added that “Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games” by not answering questions about whether he will run for president in 2024. DeSantis is seen as Trump’s leading challenger for the GOP nomination in that year’s election should both decide to run
“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,’” wrote Trump.
“Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.”
Trump earlier this week warned DeSantis against seeking the White House in 2024 during an interview with Fox News. “I don’t know if he is running,” he told the network. “I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly.”
The former president’s Thursday statement comes after DeSantis cruised to reelection Tuesday on a night otherwise largely marked by disappointment for the GOP, fueling further talk of a presidential bid and praise from other Republicans and the conservative media. Meanwhile, a number of Republicans have criticized Trump following the midterms and even blamed him for key losses.
On Thursday, Trump warned that he and his supporters will again triumph over his critics just as he said they did in 2015 and 2016 despite a “Media Assault (Collusion!)”
“Fox News fought me to the end until I won, and then they couldn’t have been nicer or more supportive. 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,” said Trump.
“We’re in exactly the same position now,” he continued. “They will keep coming after us, MAGA, but ultimately, we will win. Put America First and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”