Trump rips ‘RINO in disguise’ DeSantis for attendance at book event: ‘This is 2016 all over again’

HMACMK Washington, USA. 2nd Feb, 2017. United States President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower has addressed the annual event. Credit: Win McNamee/Pool via CNP/MediaPunch/Alamy Live News

Photo: Alamy

President Trump took a swipe at his potential GOP presidential primary rival, Governor Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., on Truth Social on Monday, ripping the Florida leader for failing to pack the house at an event in Staten Island, New York, promoting his new book, “The Courage to be Free.”

“Big buildup, lots of money spent, yet only 139 people showed up for DeSantis in Staten Island,” Trump wrote. “FoxNews is disappointed that his Polls are crashing. Paul Ryan very unhappy. He’s a RINO in disguise, that’s why! This is 2016 all over again.”

Gov. DeSantis’s book, slated to release in March, purports to be “Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival” in the subtitle. According to a report from The Hill, DeSantis lightly hinted this week that he would be making a decision about running for president after the legislative session in Florida kicks off. “…So those are what we’re going to be doing over these next few months as we get beyond that, then we can decide from there,” DeSantis told “Fox and Friends.”

Photos from DeSantis’s event in Staten Island, New York

DeSantis has historically played coy with the press about his intentions for 2024. President Trump, however, seems pretty certain that the Florida governor will indeed make a presidential bid, commenting last week that DeSantis is “obviously going to give the presidential ‘thing’ a shot.”

Trump preemptively slammed DeSantis in January, urging Americans to check the governor’s past ties. He wrote, “Ron DeSanctimonious, who I made Governor in BOTH the Primary & the General, is also a Globalist, & so are his donors. Jeb ‘Low Energy’ Bush was next to him last week. Check PAST!”

Although DeSantis has not officially announced his decision on running in 2024, a new poll from Quinnipiac found that in a four-way split between Trump, DeSantis, declared GOP candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Former Vice President Mike Pence, GOP voters preferred Trump at 43 percent. DeSantis netted 41 percent, Haley scored 6 percent, and Pence earned 4 percent.

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