HomePoliticsAttack advertisements, social media posts, angry speeches: Trump’s battle with DeSantis is personal 2023
Attack advertisements, social media posts, angry speeches: Trump’s battle with DeSantis is personal 2023
May 6, 2023
Politics isn’t all. It’s private.
Former President Trump isn’t only attacking a political competitor with attack ads, social media posts, and stump speeches. He’s criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ disloyalty.
Trump basically stated so.
“See, I’m a loyalist,” Trump remarked in a March address, recalling DeSantis’ request for his endorsement in the 2018 Florida governor’s campaign and how it helped him win. You nominated him. You win him the election. Two years later, the false news asks, ‘Will you run against the president? Will you run? He says, ‘I have no remark.’ That shouldn’t happen.”
A series of sharply worded attack ads with stinging images has followed, targeting his former political apprentice while sparing, or ignoring, an actual rival, former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley, also considered a turncoat by many Trump faithful.
From eating pudding to “You’re fired”: Trump advertisements target DeSantis.
The governor was mocked for eating chocolate pudding with his fingers. The governor claims he never did so, at least as an adult, but the commercial seized on the idea in a way that one Trump critic called “creepy.”
A harsher commercial explicitly attacked the governor’s oath.
It highlighted that Trump’s backing “saved” DeSantis politically in the 2018 gubernatorial campaign and showed the governor praising Trump for “standing by me when it wasn’t necessarily the smart thing to do.”
“Instead of being grateful, DeSantis is now attacking the very man who saved his career,” the ad continues. “DeSantis should recall his rise.”
Then, a 2018 DeSantis campaign ad quotes Trump’s hallmark slogan from The Apprentice. “Then Mr. Trump said, ‘You’re fired,'” DeSantis stated in the commercial. “I love that part.”
The commercial concluded, “Truth is, there is only one man who can make America great again.”
Trump’s DeSantis-focused ads. His rivalry? It’s private? Trump, who was impeached, acquitted, and indicted in March, maintains a double-digit advantage against DeSantis in survey after poll. Trump led DeSantis by 36 points in a CBS News-YouGov GOP primary poll released May 1.
Trump World orbiters claim Trump’s “personal” insults are deliberate.
“He got elected because of Donald Trump,” said MyPillow creator Mike Lindell, a frequent attendee of Trump campaign events at Mar-a-Lago. He was down. Donald Trump’s support got him elected. DeSantis turns on him.”
Roger Stone, a longtime Trump advisor, political strategist, and trickster, said the assaults on DeSantis were deeper than those on past competitors like Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.
Stone called it a “fair statement” that Trump has taken DeSantis’ conduct personally.
Stone agreed with the former president that his “endorsement catapulted” DeSantis to the GOP governor primary five years ago. He recounts how Trump visited Florida “three times in the final two weeks of the 2018 election” to help DeSantis defeat Gillum by 33,000 votes.
Since DeSantis’ White House rumors began, Stone has been the governor’s fiercest opponent. Stone advised Trump to “watch DeSantis” before cursing the governor in a viral video last year. He vowed to run against DeSantis in last year’s gubernatorial race if the governor didn’t drop his 2024 plans in 2021.
“Donald Trump didn’t play any initial role in getting Marco Rubio into the U.S. Senate,” Stone claimed. “Ron would be managing a McDonald’s if he weren’t governor,” he said.
Lincoln Project, which knows political commercials, not surprised by Trump assaults on DeSantis.
A head of the organization that aired caustic TV and internet ads against Trump said the strength of the attack on DeSantis should not surprise anybody.
Rick Wilson, a Tallahassee-based veteran GOP political strategist and Lincoln Project founder, said he understands why “Trump feels betrayed by DeSantis” and believes the former president’s “anger with DeSantis is justified on that particular point.” Wilson said the personal assaults’ ferocity shouldn’t surprise anybody.
Ron DeSantis and Trump? “This show had to end in blood,” Wilson stated. “It was never going to be a smooth power transition between these two individuals. Trump would never wake up and say, “You know, I think I’m going to let DeSantis get away with this stuff.” No way.”
The Lincoln Project, founded in late 2019 by former Republicans and “Never Trumpers,” ran anti-Trump advertising throughout the 2020 presidential race.
Since then, the organization has expanded its concerns to include supporting Ukraine in its struggle against Russia and other causes. Its advertising have received many “Pollie Awards” from the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) and “Webby Awards” from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
Wilson called the Make America Great Again Inc. advertisements targeting DeSantis “good ads for their audience, the hardcore cranky MAGA types” who will be crucial in the GOP elections next year.
Wilson continued, “I like to think I do some pretty good ads,” calling the Trump spots “effective, but they weren’t politically elegant.” Pudding is creepy.”
Experts claim Trump’s political advisers changed.
However, he advises Republicans and Democrats to prepare beyond the advertising.
Wilson claimed Trump’s political advisers changed. Trump’s inner circle, including veterans like Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, are outstanding political strategists, and the former president seems to have switched to a more “disciplined and focused campaign.”
“All the clowns are off the train and they’ve got serious people there,” Wilson remarked. I take them seriously because they are like us when we were Republicans. Hard workers.”
Wilson said Trump’s staff can quickly define political opponents. They’ve also kept their candidate focused, as Trump’s approximately dozen Florida House Republican endorsements show he “is doing the work this time.”
“He’s putting in the days and hours,” Wilson said. “It’s not going to be pretty for DeSantis.”
Trump-DeSantis partnership over? Maybe not.
Some longtime Trump supporters advise against overanalyzing the Trump-DeSantis conflict.
It’s not personal. “Politics,” stated group 47 Trump fan group founder Joe Budd. Trump considers DeSantis his top Republican candidacy rival. It’s politics. It’s not personal. Trump may say things that feel personal, but they’re political.”
Budd, who ran for Congress in Palm Beach County last year, said the governor’s seeming personal assaults are not “beneficial” and that even Trump supporters don’t like them. However, Budd insists on winning.
Politics only. “He sees DeSantis as his number one rival, and, you know, he’s trying to knock DeSantis down, that’s all,” said Budd, who is impartial in the Trump-DeSantis fight.
Stone, who has criticized the governor, does not believe Trump would harbor a grudge indefinitely.
“Trump has a long history of reconciling,” Stone remarked. Thus, the future is unknowable.