The inter-GOP skirmish between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump has flared into open warfare.
Trump, 76, launched his most inflammatory attack yet on the rising GOP star late Tuesday, tarring him as a “RINO GLOBALIST” in a post on Truth Social.
“The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST, who closed quickly down Florida and even its beaches,” the former president posted. “Loved the [COVID-19] Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’ How quickly people forget!”
The Mar-a-Lago resident then retweeted several posts that cast DeSantis as an establishment Republican masquerading as a maverick.
Until this past weekend, Trump limited his rhetoric against DeSantis to accusations of political treachery, asserting that the 44-year-old’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign was on life support before the 45th president resuscitated it at the 11th hour.
“I do think it would be a great act of disloyalty because, you know, I got him in,” Trump told supporters Saturday. “He had no chance. His political life was over.”
But the former president now appears willing to hobble DeSantis by any means necessary, a strategy that could force his more studied rival to reciprocate in kind.
Riding high after a 20-point re-election drubbing of Democrat Charlie Crist in November, DeSantis to this point has declined to forcefully engage Trump.
He has instead highlighted his electoral triumph, while touting Florida as a model for a nationwide Republican renaissance.
DeSantis is reportedly planning to release a memoir titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival” in the coming months.
Asked about some of Trump’s milder weekend jabs Tuesday, the governor pointed to his election rout as evidence of surging popular support.
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