Conservative commentators who are typically Donald Trump’s allies have turned against the former president after he went after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Saturday.
Trump mocked DeSantis as “Ron DeSanctimonious” while discussing the 2024 Republican presidential primaries at a rally in Pennsylvania. The pair are widely regarded as the top contenders for the Republican nomination, although DeSantis has given no indication that he intends to run. Commentators called for Trump to create divisions in the ranks just three days before the midterm elections.
“DeSantis is an extremely effective conservative governor who has made real policy gains and real cultural victories. Trump won’t be able to bring these down with a stupid nickname. He better have more than that up his sleeve,” wrote Matt Walsh, a commentator at The Daily Wire and a leading voice among social conservatives.
Also well done for launching your public attack on the most popular conservative governor in America three days before the midterm elections, when we should all show a united front,” he added.
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“What an idiot,” wrote Rod Dreher, editor-in-chief of The American Conservative. “DeSantis is a much more effective leader on the right than Trump was. That is, you expect a leader to get a lot done, instead of just talking about it and owning the libraries.”
Fox News contributor and editor at the Spectator Ben Domenech simply said that Trump’s nickname for DeSantis “needs work.“
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Many other influential figures on the right weighed in against Trump.
Trump’s comments on Saturday came as he discussed current polls for the 2024 primaries, which showed Trump had a huge lead.
“We’re winning big in the Republican Party for the nomination like no one has ever seen before. There it is, Trump at 71 percent, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%,” Trump said. “Mike Pence at seven o’clock, oh, Mike is doing better than I thought. Liz Cheney, she’s really not at 4%. It can’t be. It’s not possible. But we’re at 71 to 10 to 7 to 4.”
A presidential poll at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit found that 78.7% of attendees favorite Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024.
Another straw poll on the Conservative Political Action Conference in August, it was found that Trump had 69% support from attendees to run in 2024. DeSantis came in with just 24% support.
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Nevertheless, DeSantis took the win in approximately 2024 primary polls. A survey of Republicans in New Hampshire saw the governor take a slim lead over Trump in a potential Republican primary in June. The poll found that 39% of likely Republican primary voters in Granite state would support Florida’s governor for the first term, while 37% supported the former president.