Donald Trump tried to steal the spotlight away from Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign announcement day by launching into an insult-packed rant about the Florida governor on his Truth Social platform.
Shortly before Mr DeSantis’s Twitter event with Elon Musk, Mr Trump posted his fifth diatribe of the day.
On Wednesday morning, the former president began his day by spewing a series of attacks on the man expected to be his biggest rival for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race.
Resorting to his nicknames of “Ron DeSanctus” and “Rob DeSanctimonious”, he repeated his usual talking points for the Florida governor and one-time close ally – saying he “desperately needs a personality transplant” and calling him a “disloyal person” and a “disciple of horrible RINO Paul Ryan”.
He also once again tried to take credit for Mr DeSantis’ successful 2018 gubernatorial bid.
“Look, Rob DeSanctimonious came to me asking for help. He was losing badly, by 31 points, to popular Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam,” he fumed.
“He was getting ready to drop out of the race – Ran a terrible campaign! Ron told me he had one last chance, my Support & Endorsement, which Putnam, and everyone else, wanted also. I gave it to Ron, and the race was over. In one day, he went from losing badly, to winning by a lot. With 3 LARGE TRUMP RALLIES, he WON THE GENERAL ELECTION in an upset. DISLOYAL!!!”
Mr Trump continued in another post: “Ron DeSanctus can’t win the General Election (or get the Nomination) because he VOTED TO OBLITERATE SOCIAL SECURITY, EVEN WANTING TO RAISE THE MINIMUM AGE TO 70 (or more!), VOTED TO BADLY WOUND MEDICARE, AND FOUGHT HARD AND VOTED FOR A 23% “TAX ON EVERYTHING” SALES TAX. He was, and is, a disciple of horrible RINO Paul Ryan, and others too many to mention. Also, he desperately needs a personality transplant and, to the best of my knowledge, they are not medically available yet. A disloyal person!”
In another post, he resorted to an all-caps rant making several dubious claims about his own record during his one term in the White House.
“I BUILT THE GREATEST ECONOMY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, NO INFLATION, ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, AND SOON DOMINANCE, THE STRONGEST BORDER EVER, RECORD BEST EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS, BIGGEST TAX & REGULATION CUTS, REBUILT OUR MILITARY, NO WARS WITH RUSSIA/UKRAINE OR CHINA/TAIWAN (OR ANYWHERE!), AND THE USA WAS RESPECTED ALL OVER THE WORLD! WHAT ELSE CAN I SAY?” he wrote, before adding: “ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!”
After about an hour’s break, Mr Trump continued on the attack – this time also hitting out at Fox News for allegedly using an “old poll” about their chances in the race.
“I got 1.2 Million more votes in Florida than DeSanctus. Also, Bill Hemmer at FoxNews just used an old April Poll showing me leading by 51% to 25%. Why doesn’t Fox get a more up to date poll, 72% to 18%, with the other candidates much lower. Just like 2016!!!” he fumed.
“It’s why people are leaving FoxNews. P.S. Without me, DeSanctus would have lost the Primary and the General. Thank you President Trump!”
The posts continued throughout the day, taking aim at Ken Cuccinelli – a former Trump administration official who in March launched a PAC urging Mr DeSantis to enter the 2024 race.
“A man named Ken Cuccinelli, who failed miserably in his run for Governor of Virginia and then in his running the Ted Cruz campaign against me, worked for the Trump Administration on the Border, but just was not as good as some of the other people I had working on Border Security – “THE BEST IN HISTORY.” He was going nowhere with us, so now he works for DeSanctimonious, at supposedly a big Globalist like salary, and rips “TRUMP” on Globalist FoxNews. Oh well, another one bites the dust!” he wrote.
Mr Trump’s fury comes as Mr DeSantis is expected to officially enter the 2024 race on Wednesday night in a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk.
Shortly before the event, Mr Trump launched into his fifth rant aimed at the Florida governor.
The former president mocked the Florida governor by once again butchering his name.
“I’d like to personally congratulate ‘Rob’ DeSanctimonious on finally announcing that he will be entering the race for President of the United States,” he wrote. “Hopefully he will get the full experience of being attacked by the Marxists, Communists, and Radical Left Lunatics of our Country, without which he will never know the kind of job he is doing. These Lowlifes & Misfits are far worse than the leaders of hostile foreign countries. They must be soundly defeated in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
The audio-only event will involve a live interview with Mr Musk, moderated by controversial tech entrepreneur David Sacks.
Following the event, Mr DeSantis is expected to release an official launch video and make an appearance on Fox News.
On Tuesday night, the governor’s wife Casey DeSantis kicked off his campaign by posting a video of him getting ready to go on stage in front of an American flag.
“America is worth the fight… Every. Single. Time,” she tweeted.
Mr DeSantis, 44, is seen as Mr Trump’s biggest rival for the Republican vote in the 2024 race for the White House and has been teasing his bid for several months.
Long before he officially entered the race, several Republican lawmakers and right-wing media outlets began rallying behind him and all but endorsed him to lead the party.
This came after the GOP had a disappointing performance in the midterms with the so-called “red wave” failing to materialise and several Mr Trump-endorsed candidates failing in the polls.
As a result, 76-year-old Mr Trump – who entered the race in November – has gone on the attack against his rival for the past few months.
The latest polls show Mr DeSantis currently trailing Mr Trump, with a recent CBS News-YouGov poll placing the former president at a 36 point lead among Republican primary voters.