In the wake of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' landslide victory this week, Democrats and members of the liberal media have begun to fear his broader appeal on the national stage, a trend that was only exacerbated by three words which, as the New York Post reported, revealed former President Donald Trump's personal suppport of his candidacy.
Trump and his wife Melania were seen emerging from a Palm Beach polling place Tuesday, and that is when the former commander in chief was asked directly whether he cast his ballot for DeSantis, with whom he has had something of a contentious, arms' length rapport of late.
“Yes, I did,” Trump answered, revealing his show of support for the popular 44-year-old Florida chief executive in his re-election contest. WATCH:
Donald Trump when asked if he voted for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL):
“Yes, I did.” pic.twitter.com/ufnBQPOXyH
— The Recount (@therecount) November 8, 2022
Despite his outward show of support for DeSantis at the ballot box, just days prior, Trump took a bit of a public shot at the man many view as his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
At a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday, Trump gave the Florida governor a rather snide nickname, dubbing him “Ron DeSanctimonious,” as CBS News noted, perhaps the most significant, outward indication of tension between the two in recent months.
Later discussing the quip with CBS News in Miami, Trump was asked whether it stemmed from a feeling on his part that DeSantis was insufficiently grateful for the former president's help in boosting his gubernatorial fortunes four years prior.
“Well, lets see what happens,” Trump said, sidestepping direct discussion of a rift. “But in the meantime, we hope he gets elected. And you know, I've always had a very good relationship with him. But let's see what happens.”
Though there was rampant speculation that Trump was poised to announce his candidacy for the 2024 nomination this week, it appears that those plans may have been delayed or derailed by the disappointing performance of numerous Republican candidates on Tuesday – and perhaps also by the massive success seen by DeSantis, who defeated Democrat rival Charlie Crist by a nearly 20-point margin.
Despite his admitted support for DeSantis in the Palm Beach voting booth, Trump could not help but take a swipe at the governor after all was said and done, according to Fox News, boasting on his Truth Social platform, “Now that the Election in Florida is over, and everything went quite well, shouldn't it be said that in 2020, I got 1.1 Million more votes in Florida than Ron D got this year, 5.7 Million to 4.6 Million? Just Asking.”
With something of an internal debate now taking place within the Republican Party as to whether it is time to cast Trump aside in favor of surging leaders such as DeSantis – and the intentions of those men themselves not yet entirely clear – it remains to be seen just how much the heretofore cold war between the two may intensify in the months to come.
However, by acknowledging that when it came down to it, even he was compelled to pull the lever for DeSantis, Trump surely struck fear in the hearts of Democrats everywhere by demonstrating that regardless of how things may ultimately shake out inside the GOP, the commitment to rooting liberalism out of American government that is shared by these men remains unwavering.