Trump has decided to go with another nickname for Ron DeSantis, who, though he has not yet announced, is almost certainly running against Trump in 2024.
This news comes from a Politico writeup of Trump’s visit to Iowa today. He spoke with reporters while on his way to the state, and sounded off on two 2024 rivals: Ron DeSantis and, briefly, Mike Pence.
“Meatball Ron,” he explained during the plane ride, was “too crude” — and so he would not be using it. (The name may or may not have been some kind of old-school, outer-boroughs, anti-Italian slur.)
The main takeaway from Trump’s chat with the press, however, is that though he will not be referring to the governor of Florida as a meatball, the 2024 primary will just be incredibly, incredibly messy.
Here’s Trump describing how Ron DeSantis supposedly begged for the then-President’s endorsement in 2018 when he ran for governor:
“I said ‘You are so dead right now you are not going, no endorsement is going to save you. George Washington won’t save you.’ He said, ‘I’m telling you, if you endorse me, I have a chance,’” Trump said.
Here’s Trump bopping Mike Pence on the head after his former vice president took a stab at speaking more forcefully about the threat Trump presented:
“I heard his statement, and I guess he decided that being nice isn’t working because he’s at 3 percent in the polls, so he figured he might as well not be nice any longer,” Trump said.
Stagenames or not, GOP primaries now share more in common with pro wrestling than, say, a college debate society. Some 2024 candidates might want to ignore that reality, but as long as Trump’s around, it’s not going away.
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