A veiled blow former President Donald Trump delivered to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t appear to go down well with supporters during a GOP summit in his home state.

Trump and DeSantis both claimed the state as their turf during the Florida Republican Party’s Freedom Summit in Kissimmee on Saturday.

Trump remains the front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024, while DeSantis – who was originally expected to be Trump’s main rival after winning re-election in a landslide last year – remains a distant second and has struggled since his campaign began in May.

DeSantis’ challenges were highlighted when Trump called several Florida lawmakers who did not support DeSantis to the stage before Saturday’s event.

During his speech, Trump boasted of his large lead with Republican voters and praised his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He went on to list several Republican governors who have done a “great job” leading their states during the pandemic, notably leaving out DeSantis and Florida.

“We’ve done a great job on COVID,” Trump said. “We never got credit for the work we did. We let Republican governors keep their states open. Many of them did so. Henry McMaster, South Carolina, did a great job. South Dakota has done a great job. “Tennessee did a great job.” Lots of them. They kept it open.

As people in the audience shouted “Florida,” Trump just smiled and gave a thumbs up.

After a pause he said, “I will say this. Every Republican governor has done much better than the best Democratic governor. This is true.”

Some took to social media to denounce Trump.

“Trump becomes visibly frightened as the crowd denounces him for leaving Ron DeSantis off his list of governors who have done a great job dealing with COVID,” wrote Never Back Down, a super PAC supporting DeSantis’ candidacy supports the presidency, in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Another DeSantis supporter wrote that Floridians “criticized Donald Trump for insulting Florida again when he left @RonDeSantis off the list of Republican governors who have done a great job on Covid. He knew what he was doing and was caught red-handed.”

Another person wrote: “This clip is just incredible. Donald Trump only lists the Republican states whose governors supported him. And the crowd in Florida sees through it.”

Donald Trump’s DeSantis story gets laughs

But Trump drew laughter when he told the audience how DeSantis had begged for his support during Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial election.

DeSantis had “tears flowing from his eyes,” Trump said.

He then made an introduction to the governor.

“‘I need your permission, sir. I need your permission please. I need your fucking approval please.’ So I gave him permission,” he said.

Newsweek emailed the Trump and DeSantis campaigns seeking comment.

Donald Trump on November 4, 2023 in Kissimmee, Florida. Trump notably left out Ron DeSantis when he listed governors who had done a “great job” during the COVID pandemic.

Unusual knowledge

Newsweek strives to challenge conventional wisdom and find connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek strives to challenge conventional wisdom and find connections in the search for common ground.

Source : www.newsweek.com

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