Former President Trump took aim at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) at a campaign rally on Saturday night, coining the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious” for the politician who is widely viewed as Trump’s greatest competition for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
Trump called out his potential political rival at Saturday’s rally in Latrobe, Pa., while also continuing to tease his own run in 2024.
“This is the year we’re going to take back the House. We’re going to take back the Senate. And we’re going to take back America. We’re going to take it back,” Trump said. “And in 2024, most importantly, we are going to take back our magnificent, oh-so-beautiful White House.”
“Everybody, I promise you, in the very next, very, very, very short period of time, you’re going to be so happy,” he added at another point in the rally.
Axios reported on Friday that Trump’s team is considering launching his presidential bid on Nov. 14, less than a week after voters head to the polls in the midterm elections.
However, Trump all but confirmed his imminent announcement, suggesting that he would announce if he wasn’t stumping for Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Mehmet Oz and Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano.
“One of the reasons I don’t want to do that right now — cause I’d like to do it — but you know what, and I really mean this, I want to have the focus tonight be on Dr. Oz and on Doug Mastriano.”
Most polls show Trump leading DeSantis in a potential match-up for the Republican nomination. However, the Florida governor remains the greatest threat to the former president, while other potential nominees, such as former Vice President Mike Pence and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), appear further behind.
As Trump heads to Miami for a rally with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday, the former president will maintain his distance from DeSantis, who was noticeably not invited to the rally, Politico reported.
DeSantis will instead attend three of his own rallies on Sunday, as part of a 13-city blitz announced after the Trump rally was scheduled, according to Politico.
Trump’s Pennsylvania rally on Saturday competed with a major rally from Democrats, as both President Biden and former President Obama descended on the state to support Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman and gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro. The Pennsylvania Senate race, which is currently locked in a dead heat, is one of several tight races that could determine control of the upper chamber of Congress.
Updated at 10:58 p.m.