Trump unleashes on Ron DeSantis after he's blamed for lackluster GOP midterm results and DeSantis praised for massive victory
The GOP did not produce the "red wave" they hoped to see for the 2022 midterms.
Many Republicans are pointing fingers at former President Donald Trump for the upsetting results.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, won reelection for Florida governor with a 20-point margin over Charlie Crist.
Former President Donald Trump unleashed on Gov. Ron DeSantis on social media after Tuesday's lackluster midterm results for the Republican Party.
In a series of posts published on Truth Social on Thursday, Trump called DeSantis an "average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations" and once again took credit for the Florida governor's political rise.
"Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017 — he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers," he wrote.
Trump also stuck with his new nickname for DeSantis, repeatedly calling him "Ron DeSanctimonious" in his rant.
Spokespersons for Trump and DeSantis did not immediately return a request for comment from Insider.
Trump had hoped to use the momentum of Tuesday's election to launch his 2024 campaign, provided that the midterms produced plentiful GOP gains.
But the "red tsunami" Republicans hoped for never materialized, and it was clear by Wednesday that many candidates who were backed by Trump were underperforming expectations — one of the biggest hits coming from Pennsylvania where John Fetterman beat a Trump-endorsed Mehmet Oz by more than four percentage points.
Conservative analysts and outlets as well as the former president's own allies have turned on Trump after the party's performance this week.
"I LOVED Trump and campaigned for him in 2016 but the guy has lost his mind and attached (sic) everyone in our party far too much to be a serious face going forward," Caleb Hill, a pro-Trump communications strategist, tweeted on Tuesday.
At the same time, there was an immediate embrace of DeSantis, who won Florida by historic margins on Tuesday with a nearly 20-point lead over his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist.
For months, DeSantis has been talked of as Trump's most formidable rival in 2024 should he run for president, and the midterm results have only further emboldened those speculations.
According to The Washington Post, Fox News contributor and former Rep. Jason Chaffetz said during a segment on Wednesday that DeSantis is "probably one of the front-runners — if not the front-runner — to become the next president of the United States of America."
This impending rivalry also appears to be palpable for Trump himself.
After Election Day, Trump wrote on Truth Social: "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?"
Trump's latest rant on Truth Social, which was also sent to inboxes by his Save America PAC, showed that he was also unsatisfied with DeSantis' response when he was asked by media if he would consider running for president.
"And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he's going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, 'I'm only focused on the Governor's race, I'm not looking into the future,'' Trump wrote. "Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that's really not the right answer.
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