Feb 10, 2023

Trump Escalates Attacks Against DeSantis, Shares an Accusatory 2002 Photo

Increasing attacks by Trump against the Florida governor point toward an impending GOP succession crisis come 2024.
Trump Escalates Attacks Against DeSantis, Shares an Accusatory 2002 Photo

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What happened: Since the 2022 midterms, former President Donald Trump has attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with escalating intensity. This week, Trump posted screenshots of a 2002 photo of DeSantis during his time as a high school teacher having drinks with young women. Trump captioned the photo, “That’s not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!”

Past attacks: Trump last year called DeSantis an “average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations" and also claimed credit for his 2018 election. Earlier this month, Trump fired at DeSantis again, calling him a “RINO GLOBALIST” who “loved the Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’”

DeSantis responds: The governor related Trump’s latest claim to “defamatory stuff” that he faces “every single day.” DeSantis dismissed the discussion surrounding the rumor, stating that he spends his time “delivering results for the people of Florida and fighting against Joe Biden,” not “trying to smear other Republicans.”

Big picture: Trump’s attacks against DeSantis have intensified amid recent rumors of a potential summer 2023 presidential campaign announcement by DeSantis. As new polls show the two would tie in a potential GOP primary, more political sneering is expected in the coming months.

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