The tension between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis is continuing to heat up. Despite the former president’s escalating legal problems, the two men are still on track to compete for the top of the Republican ticket going into the 2024 primaries. While that kind of intra-party fight is generally reserved for after the midterm elections, Trump is reportedly making a move just two days before DeSantis faces off against Charlie Christ in Florida’s governor race.
On November 6, Trump will hold a massive rally in Florida for Senator Marco Rubio. However, DeSantis is noticeably not on the guest list, and his team is reportedly reeling that Trump’s rally will take attention away from the Florida governor. Via Politico:
“You’ve got the Sunday before Election Day totally hijacked by Trump parachuting in on Trump Force One taking up the whole day,” said a longtime Republican consultant who is close to the governor. “No Republican could go to a DeSantis event that day. None. And DeSantis won’t be here? This is big.”
Another person who is influential in DeSantis’ world said it was “an elbow to Ron’s throat” and blamed Trump advisers.
When reached for comment, a spokesman for Trump’s campaign denied any conflict between the former president and DeSantis.
“This is an event President Trump is holding as part of a series of stops he is making for Republican Senate candidates,” the Trump adviser told Politico. “It came after he and Senator Rubio spoke directly.”
Of course, that statement flies in the face of reports that Trump has been privately critical of DeSantis and feels slighted that he doesn’t get enough credit for helping him win Florida’s gubernatorial race in 2018. The former president has reportedly referred to DeSantis as “fat,” “phony,” and “whiny,” which feels like a real “pot calling the kettle black” situation to be honest.