Former President Donald Trump isn’t pulling punches with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Trump targeted the governor in a spree of Truth Social posts this week, tearing into a Republican considered Trump’s most likely rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Trump assailed DeSantis as a “RINO GLOBALIST” in one post, taking aim at DeSantis’ COVID response and his support for vaccines.
In another post, Trump called the governor “Ron DeSanctimonious.” He’d previously referred to DeSantis by that nickname during a midterm rally.
Trump asserted that a run for president on the part of DeSantis would amount to disloyalty, claiming credit for DeSantis’ first election as Florida governor.
TRUMP: DeSantis considering a run is DISLOYAL pic.twitter.com/sULx7Zv8jP
— Preston Parra (@ThePrestonParra) January 30, 2023
Trump also shared a video of DeSantis comparing himself to Paul Ryan, connecting his potential rival to the failed 2012 vice presidential candidate and former speaker of the House.
Trump “retruthed” another post linking DeSantis to former establishment Republican figures such as Karl Rove and Jeb Bush.
DeSantis responded to a question about Trump’s criticism on Tuesday, touting his own political and electoral record without mentioning Trump’s name.
“When you’re an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions, you gotta steer that ship, and the good thing is is that the people are able to render a judgment on that — whether they re-elect you or not,” DeSantis said.
“And I’m happy to say, you know, in my case, not only did we win re-election, we won with the highest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate has in the history of the state of Florida.”
.@RonDeSantisFL responds to @henryrodgersdc question about Trump’s recent criticisms against him
— Nicole Silverio (@NicoleMSilverio) January 31, 2023
DeSantis hasn’t announced his intentions for 2024. He’s considered the most plausible challenger to Trump, with some conservatives pointing to his record as Florida governor as a model for the nation.
A Tuesday poll from Morning Consult showed Trump with a handy lead in a tentative primary, although DeSantis had enough support to place him within striking distance of the former president.
Some post-midterm polling indicated that DeSantis had taken the lead against Trump, who announced his campaign in November.
Newer polling shows that Trump has recaptured a sizable lead, although many surveys show him with less than 50 percent support.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.