It appears former President Donald Trump hasn’t learned something that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has: know your supporters. As one of the two most popular Republicans, one a presidential candidate and the other presumed, if you’re going to take on “the other guy,” do it judiciously.
Trump learned this at a Waco, Texas, rally on March 25th, 2023. The former and perhaps future President is struggling with DeSantis’s popularity, even with many Trump supporters. They see DeSantis as successful because he’s largely put into effect Trump’s MAGA blueprint in Florida.
According to the New York Post, after mocking DeSantis for asking Trump for his endorsement for governor, “Trump received the cold reception even as the crowd was rallying over his lead in recent polls. That was when the former president took his chance to slam his former ally, painting him as a crony who was ‘begging for an endorsement’ in 2018.”
Trump told the story with his familiar sarcasm. Trump may not get that anything either says that goes beyond policy criticism to diminish the character or foundation of the other guy scares both Trump and DeSantis voters. They don’t want either candidate to give the Democrats any advantage whatsoever.
The Daily Mail reported, “Donald Trump’s energetic crowd of fans fell notably silent when the former president started making fun of Florida governor Ron DeSantis at a rally on Saturday.”
Some observers believe this tactic will be especially harmful in attracting independent voters.
TDM also said, “It was only after Trump hurriedly changed the subject and noted that he is ahead of other Republicans in polls for the 2024 presidential election that the crowd started to become animated and cheer again.”
DeSantis recently provided an example of jabbing at the other guy in a way that presses up against but doesn’t cross the line.
As the BBC reported, after defending Trump as a victim of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’ s hate campaign, DeSantis cleverly, and humorously, responded to reporters, “I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I just can’t speak to that.”
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