The off-camera insult-flinging between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump is intensifying as the two prepare to potentially square off against each other to secure the Republican presidential nomination.
The latest news comes from a Vanity Fair report, in which Gabriel Sherman writes that Desantis called Trump “a moron who has no business running for president,” according to former staffers of the Florida Governor.
The Behind-Closed-Doors Brawl: Although the two haven’t spoken since the summer, according to the report, insulting each other surreptitiously appears to be a warm-up exercise ahead of a potential face off in the 2024 presidential race. DeSantis already has a plan in place for how to deal with the former president if the two were to face off in a debate.
“The only way to beat Trump is to attack him head-on,” said DeSantis, according to a Republican source who spoke to Vanity Fair. “He says he would turn to Trump during a debate and say, ‘Why didn’t you fire Fauci? You said you would build the wall, but there is no wall. Why is that?’”
As for Trump’s plans, the former president has been keeping a close eye on DeSantis and his poll numbers, while also gathering information on how visitors at his Bedminster golf club view the Florida governor, according to Benzinga.
DeSantis, meanwhile, left a bad taste in Trump’s mouth after failing to adequately acknowledge the role Trump played in boosting DeSantis during the 2018 gubernatorial primary.
“Trump says (DeSantis) is overrated, disloyal, and a know-nothing,” according to one of Trump’s friends, who spoke to Vanity Fair.
The former president also refers to DeSantis as “fat, phony and whiny,” according to a new book by New York Times correspondent Maggie Haberman.
Trump’s Competition: Desantis has gained the support of big backers such as Citadel founder Ken Griffin and Stephen Ross, a real estate mogul and Miami Dolphins owner, who admire DeSantis’ qualifications and views on deregulation.
One top GOP donor described the Florida governor as Trump “without the insanity and the tweets at three in the morning,” according to Vanity Fair.
Originally published on Sept. 27, 2022.
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