Donald Trump tried to steal the spotlight from Ron DeSantis’ 2024 campaign announcement day, making an outrageous boast about the Florida governor on his Truth social platform.
On Wednesday morning, the former president began his day by launching 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 aliases of “Ron DeSanctus” and “Rob DeSanctimonious,” he reiterated his usual talking points for the Florida governor and one-time close aide — saying he “desperately needs a personality transplant.” and called him a “disloyal person” and a “disciple of the terrible Rino Paul Ryan”.
He once again tried to take credit for Mr. DeSantis’ successful 2018 gubernatorial bid.
“Look, Robb de Sanctimonius came to me asking for help. He was losing 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 and endorsement, which Poonam and everyone else wanted too. I passed it on to Ron. Gave in, and the race was over. He went from losing badly to winning a ton in one day. With 3 big Trump rallies, he upset and won the general election. Betrayal!!!”
Mr Trump continued in another post: “Ron DeSanctus can’t win the general election (or get the nomination) because he voted to eliminate Social Security, even raising the minimum age to 70 (or more) !) Medicare, and fought hard and voted for a 23% “tax on everything” sales tax. He was, and is, a disciple of the awesome Rino Paul Ryan, and too many others to mention. Personality implants are desperately needed and to the best of my knowledge, they are not yet medically available. A bewafa man!”
In another post, he resorted to an all-caps rant, making several questionable 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, strongest border ever, record best employment numbers, largest tax and regulation cuts, rebuilt our military, Russia / No wars with Ukraine or China/Taiwan (or anywhere!), and the United States is respected all over the world! What more can you say?” He wrote before adding: “Election interference!!!”
Mr Trump’s fury comes as Mr DeSantis is expected to officially enter the 2024 race on Wednesday night at a Twitter space event with Elon Musk.
The audio-only event will include a live interview with Musk moderated by controversial tech entrepreneur David Sachs.
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, launched her campaign by posting a video of her getting ready to go on stage in front of an American flag.
“America is worth fighting for… every. lone. 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, many Republican lawmakers and right-wing media outlets began rallying behind him, but backed him to lead the party.
It came after the GOP’s dismal performance in the midterms, fueled by the failure of the so-called “red wave” and the failure of several Mr Trump-backed candidates to get elected.
As a result, Mr Trump, 76 – 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 is currently trailing Mr. Trump, with a recent CBS News-YouGov poll putting the former president at a 36-point lead among Republican primary voters.