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After Trump publicly attacked Ron DeSantis’ character, the once-loyal Florida governor refused to bow down to the former president and said backing him in the 2024 election would be too much for him.
Donald Trump accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of having a ‘dull personality’ and ‘no personal charisma’ as rumors swirl that the former president is angry that DeSantis hasn’t declined to run for the GOP presidential nomination.
According to the New York Times, DeSantis told members of his inner circle that Trump’s ‘expectation that he bend the knee is asking too much.’
He called Trump’s criticisms ‘uncharacteristically out of step with the hard-line elements of his party’s base’.
BREAKING REPORT: DeSantis will not bend for Trump, Florida Gov. says backing ex-president for 2024 'is too much to ask'…
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) January 18, 2022
According to sources close to Trump who have recently talked with him about DeSantis, Trump has grown increasingly irritated by DeSantis in recent months, voicing his frustrations to those in his inner circle.
It is rumored that Trump is annoyed that DeSantis refused to rule out running against him if he’s interested in a second run for the White House. In Republican circles, Desantis is extremely popular, and he is seen as someone who can implement policies popularized by Trump, without the drama.
‘In the context of the 2024 election, he usually gives DeSantis a pop in the nose in the middle of that type of conversation,’ said a source who recently spoke to Trump about DeSantis.
In Florida, the governor is seeking re-election. Meanwhile, Trump claims he made him. In the 2018 gubernatorial election, former President Trump backed then-Congressman DeSantis. DeSantis’ strategy to win the general election was to heavily tie himself to Trump, including running ads in which he taught his children how to say ‘Build the Wall’ and ‘Make America Great Again.’
‘Look, I helped Ron DeSantis at a level that nobody’s ever seen before,’ Trump said in an interview with The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters regarding his upcoming book, ‘Insurgency,’ which explores the Republican Party’s further shift to the right.
According to Trump, DeSantis ‘didn’t have a chance’ to win without his help.
They are among the most popular Republican figures in the country, and Trump, who looks like he might run for reelection in 2024, is believed by many to be annoyed by DeSantis’ interest in taking him on.
According to reports, Trump is further riled that DeSantis won’t commit to not running against him if he runs again for president.
‘I wonder why the guy won’t say he won’t run against me,’ Trump has asked friends and associates, the Times reports.
Trump has yet to make his own announcement and is not expected to until early next year.
Former President Trump’s close aides say he expects to run for the White House again – but also admit he may choose to act as the ‘kingmaker’ for the next presidential candidate instead.
The source, who did not want to be identified, said they have heard Trump criticize DeSantis on several occasions.
Last week Trump had lashed out at politicians, including DeSantis, who refuse to divulge whether they have received a COVID vaccine or booster, calling them ‘gutless.’
DeSantis responded, saying he regrets that he had not ‘been much louder’ in criticizing President Trump’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Roger Stone, a longtime advisor to Donald Trump, also jumped into the fray.
Stone blasted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as an Ivy League “fat boy” – the latest sign that DeSantis and Trump are at odds.
After a report that Trump considers DeSantis ‘dull,’ Stone, who has known Trump for decades and advised him informally during the 2016 campaign – then was pardoned by President Trump after a lengthy legal saga amid the Russia probe – tore into the potential Republican opponent.
‘Trump sometimes President Donald Trump hits it right on the nose. Ron DeSantis Yale Harvard fat boy can’t get out of his own way,’ Stone wrote.
‘Not smart. Not honest and not going to be president,’ Stone posted on Twitter.
Stone said that Desantis is: ‘An unknown congressman with a bad haircut and an ill-fitting suit until Donald Trump made him governor’ – omitting his latest job title: governor of a state with over 20 million people where Trump and Stone live.
Stone continued: ‘I know where he was when he was missing,’ in reference to the period of time during which DeSantis did not appear at public events, leading to internet speculation about his whereabouts. According to his office, DeSantis was helping his wife, Casey, with her cancer treatments.
In a tweet, Stone used an expletive about DeSantis and linked to a story on Axios about an alleged Trump-DeSantis rift.
Stone lashed out days after Trump addressed a rally in Arizona and theorized about what happened on Jan. 6th – as he positions himself for a potential 2024 run for the White House.
Another report has it that the Desantis/Trump rift is being pushed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
DeSantis appeared on the Ruthless podcast, which is hosted by Josh Holmes, McConnell’s longtime adviser, after criticizing the Covid lockdowns that Trump had promoted early on in the pandemic.
A top Trump adviser, citing four other anonymous staffers, told Fox News: ‘I like Josh. Josh is great. But he’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of McConnell World.
‘And there’s no way you can tell me that this was all a coincidence.’
The advisor said: ‘Also, DeSantis and his staff knew what they were doing. How many Florida general election voters are listening to the Ruthless podcast?
‘Now, that said, they might have been hoping for more out of Ron, because, let’s face it, he didn’t really criticize Trump. But they knew the media would instantly jump on it and wish-cast it into existence.’
McConnell views DeSantis as the ‘lesser of two evils’ and a way to frustrate Trump, the adviser said.