“Trump parachuted into Trump’s First Unit on Sunday, Election Day, all day, completely hijacking the day,” said a longtime Republican adviser close to the governor. “There were no Republicans to attend that day. DeSantis activities. Nothing. DeSantis won’t be here? It’s big.”
Another influencer in DeSantis’ world said it was “throwing Ron by the throat” and blamed Trump’s advisers.
A Trump adviser has disputed any conflict between the former president and DeSantis, who could be Trump’s 2024 Republican presidential nomination if both run for the White House potential competitors. The adviser said Trump’s rally in Florida was part of the former president’s four-city tour leading up to Nov. 11. 8 elections.
“This is part of a series of activities that President Trump has done for Republican Senate candidates,” the Trump adviser said. “This came after a direct conversation between him and Senator Rubio.”
People were allowed to discuss the matter freely and anonymously.
Trump spokesman Tyler Budovich did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for DeSantis declined to comment.
Trump and DeSantis are in a sort of cold war, with both would-be rivals openly downplaying any conflict. But there are signs their relationship is strained, including DeSantis’ refusal this year to ask for the former president’s support, while Trump over the winter called politicians who were reluctant to say whether they got a Covid-19 booster “no guts” — which was widely seen as a comment aimed at DeSantis, who hesitated when asked about it.
Trump has privately questioned DeSantis’ loyalty, while also questioning whether DeSantis is personable enough to win voters.
Trump has often credited DeSantis for his success, claiming that his support for Florida’s governor before the 2018 Republican primary against Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam pushed DeSantis to the brink. Trump supported a number of other Florida Republicans on this year’s vote, including Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.
DeSantis greatly expanded his political influence outside Florida. He has raised more than $100 million from small donors across the country and even attracted donations from some of Trump’s donors.
The governor has also held rallies for Republican candidates in key swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, while Florida Republican mailers who touted Florida’s governor have also delivered to Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina in the mailbox of the other place.
Over the weekend, DeSantis also backed Colorado Republican Senate candidate Joe Audi, whom Trump called “stupid” because of his moderate stance on issues such as abortion and gun control.
“After the Trump slam, DeSantis’ support helped,” said Jeff Hunter, director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University and co-chair of the Western Conservative Summit, the event’s final straw for public opinion. Investigating DeSantis won earlier this year. “It’s going to get the Republicans involved.”
More broadly, Trump’s visit comes as Republicans appear poised to dominate Florida’s 2022 midterm election cycle. The upcoming Trump-Rubio event in Miami-Dade County is particularly noteworthy because South Florida County has long been a stronghold for Democrats, but for the first time in modern Florida political history could be swept away by Republicans Win and occupy.
Rubio is running against Democrats in the House of Representatives. Val Demings raises nearly $20 million over Rubio. Despite the big gains, she trails in nearly every public poll and is expected to have an uphill run in a cycle that Republicans are expected to dominate most races in Florida.
“Senator Rubio thanks President Trump for his support and looks forward to him in Miami helping the Republican Party win for the candidate at every level,” said a spokesman for Rubio’s campaign.