One of Donald Trump’s big knocks on Ron DeSantis is that he, in the ex-president’s telling, is a little shit who hasn’t shown sufficient loyalty to the man who made him. “Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017…when I endorsed him, it was as though…a nuclear weapon went off,” Trump told his Truth Social followers in November. “When I hear [DeSantis] might run, I consider that very disloyal,” he similarly fumed of the Florida governor’s potential candidacy in January. Trump even claimed in a February interview that DeSantis was elected Florida’s governor “because of me,” adding, “You remember, he had nothing, he was dead, he was leaving the race, he came over and he begged me, begged me, for an endorsement. He was getting ready to drop out…. He said, ‘If you endorse me, I’ll win,’ and there were tears coming down from his eyes.”
Anyway, a little over a month later, Trump’s point of view hasn’t changed. Only now, he’s got…something approximating a stand-up routine about where DeSantis would be if not for his blessing.
“Right now he’d be working at a law office,” Trump recently told reporters aboard his plane, Trump Force One, according to Bloomberg. “Schwartz, Schwartz, Schwartz, and Schwartz. Where’s my fucking governor? Where’s my governor? Get him over here! He’s got 10 minutes or we’re gonna fire him. That’s what he’d be doing right now,” he said, reportedly laughing at his own joke. Later, he added: “Remember, this Ron DeSanctimonious would be right now working probably at a law firm or maybe a Pizza Hut.” On the same flight, he told the members of the press that he approved of the nickname “Tiny D” for the Florida governor, a knock at DeSantis’s height—and possibly the size of his genitals—that Trump has reportedly been considering deploying for some time now.
But while coming up with derogatory monikers for his opponents undoubtedly takes up significant amounts of his time, the ex-president is apparently keen to also pretend he’s a Serious Person with “policy” ideas.
Per NBC News
Former president Donald Trump is firing a fusillade of policy proposals into the GOP presidential primary. The effort to one-up rivals in the early stages of the race may help Trump shift focus from his mounting legal woes and the failings of high-profile candidates he backed in key midterm races. But the main purpose, some close advisers to Trump say, is to offer primary voters a forward-looking vision that emphasizes what he plans to do—a notable shift from his 2020 campaign, which centered on “promises made, promises kept,” and a response to conservatives who worry he’s too focused on the past. Dubbed “Agenda47,” Trump’s developing platform mixes new, recast, and recycled planks—some of which simply didn’t get much attention in the last election—to give his campaign a fresher look.
Many of the proposals seek to plant a flag in culture war battles that rile up social conservatives or speak to education and crime-focused voters who are dismayed by the post-COVID landscape. Trump has called for overhauling federal standards for disciplining minors, punishing doctors who provide gender-affirming care, and barring any federal agency from promoting “the concept of sex and gender transition at any age” or using “misinformation” and “disinformation” when describing domestic speech.
While an outside adviser who regularly speaks with Trump claimed the former guy is modeling his 2024 campaign on the 2016 one—and that he “doesn’t really revisit 2020 [campaign strategy]”—that may not be entirely true:
His personal grievances have not been brushed aside, either. Trump has continued to promote the false notion that the 2020 election was wrongly decided, and just last week he called for those imprisoned because of the January 6 attack to be “freed,” while insisting members of Congress be tried for “treason.” At this month’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump pledged to seek “retribution” for “those who have been wronged and betrayed” should he win in 2024.
“President Trump has a lot of unfinished business,” Jason Miller, a senior campaign adviser, told NBC News. “He has a very clear vision for what he wants to do for a second term.” Considering the business he got into the last time around, that sounds like an extremely worrisome threat that the nation should avoid at all costs.