While most conservatives are fans of both Trump and DeSantis, the two have been sparring in the media this past week.
Prominent right-wing pundits and personalities have been criticizing former President Donald Trump for mocking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the crucial weekend before the midterms.
Trump and DeSantis, once close allies but now growing increasingly distant, are anticipated to clash for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 — though neither has announced a run for the White House yet.
Trump added fuel to rumors of a rivalry on Saturday when he called DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious” at a rally in Pennsylvania.
Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator and author, tweeted that it was a “dumb nickname.”
“DeSantis is an extremely effective conservative governor who has had real policy wins and real cultural wins. Trump isn’t going to be able to take this one down with a dumb nickname,” Walsh tweeted.
Kurt Schlichter, a senior columnist for the conservative site Townhall and the author of a 2020 book defending Trump, also slammed the nickname. “The biggest favor you can do Donald Trump is to tell him he stepped on his crank yesterday and to stop being undisciplined and saying stupid things,” he tweeted.
“What an idiot,” tweeted Rod Dreher, a senior editor for The American Conservative, in response to a clip of Trump’s rally. “DeSantis is a far more effective leader of the Right than Trump was, if, that is, you expect a leader to get a lot done, rather than just talking about it and owning the libs.”
Tim Young, a conservative author, radio host, and critic, chimed in as well. “There was no good reason for Trump to attack DeSantis last night,” he tweeted.
“What has Ron DeSantis done to earn Trump’s scorn here right before an election?” tweeted Scott Morefield, a writer for Townhall. “It’s inexcusable and just shows this has always been about him.”
“Needs work,” Ben Domenech, the editor at large for The Spectator and a Fox News contributor, tweeted about the nickname.
“Nothing like trashing a Republican Governor 4 days before Election Day when his name is on the ballot. #team,” wrote Josh Holmes, a Republican strategist who formerly ran Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign.
Trump’s press office and representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Notably, Trump later spoke at a Miami-Dade rally on Sunday, calling for his supporters to vote for DeSantis, who is running for reelection. DeSantis was not invited to the rally, which was held in support of Sen. Marco Rubio.
The snub meant DeSantis had to compete with Trump for voters’ attention by hosting his own campaign events on the final Sunday before the November 8 election. DeSantis didn’t mention Trump in speeches at his three events that day.