Former President Donald Trump has spent months leveling attacks against Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis despite him having thus far given no indication he plans to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination.
Trump’s comments have rubbed some Republicans the wrong way, with at least one former ally saying that he’s had enough.
Former six-figure Trump donor now wants DeSantis to run
Don Tapia is a retired electrical company executive whom Trump appointed to serve as America’s ambassador to Jamaica in 2019.
According to Politico, Tapia provided substantial support for Trump in the past, making six-figure donations in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.
However, the website noted that Tapia now says he would rather see DeSantis on the ballot in 2024, citing Trump’s insults as the reason why.
“The name-calling has turned a lot of people off,” Politico quoted Tapia as saying. “Let me tell you, we don’t like that.”
GOP senators come to DeSantis’ defense
Tapia is not alone in expressing disapproval over some of Trump’s remarks, with Fox News reporting earlier this month that several Republican senators came to DeSantis’ defense after the former president accused him of being “disloyal.”
“He ran an impressive re-election campaign for governor from an important state. It looks to me like he’s polling well. I think we need some new blood and I think he’d probably qualify,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn was quoted as saying.
Fox News reported that podcast star Joe Rogan also came to DeSantis’ defense on Monday, saying that the governor’s “success in Florida is pretty unparalleled.”
However, others say recent events have convinced them that Trump is the figure to get behind ahead of next year’s presidential race.
Tim Pool: “After this week, I’m voting for Trump”
They include independent journalist and commentator Tim Pool, who recently said, “Trump’s a CEO, DeSantis is a COO,” after the former president announced that he will bring supplies to East Palestine, Ohio following a toxic train disaster there.
Tim Pool: “After this week, I’m voting for Trump. Trump’s a CEO, DeSantis is a COO” pic.twitter.com/heykOZ4Vca
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 22, 2023
“Ron DeSantis has the tact. He’s got good policy. He’s done great for Florida,” Pool acknowledged. However, he added, “We need a bloviating braggart like Trump who really will go down to East Palestine if that’s what it takes.”
A poll published last week by Quinnipiac University found that Trump was supported by 42% of Republican voters compared with 36% who favor DeSantis.