Rally crowd unenthusiastic about Trump's attacks on DeSantis

 March 27, 2023

Enthusiasm for former President Donald Trump's candidacy was on display in Waco, Texas this weekend, with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting that thousands turned out for his rally.

However, Fox News noted that the crowd's enthusiasm appeared to dissipate when Trump turned his sights on Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump claims that DeSantis desperately begged him for an endorsement

The former president at one point claimed that in 2018 DeSantis all but begged him for an endorsement when first running for governor.

"So, he came, and he really wanted [my endorsement]. I said, 'You can’t win, can you? How do you – can [you] win?'" Trump told the audience.

"‘Sir, if you endorse me, I’ll win. Please, please, sir, endorse me,'" the former president said in an exaggerated, desperate-sounding voice.

"He gets the nomination because of you. He wins the election because of you. Two years later, the fake … is up there saying, 'Will you run against the president? Will you run?' And he says, I have no comment,'" Trump recalled.

Audience "noticeably more silent" in the face of Trump's attacks

The former president then downplayed DeSantis' record as governor, saying, "Remember one thing: Florida has been tremendously successful for many years, long before this guy became governor."

"Florida was tremendously successful under Rick Scott … whether you like him or not, Charlie Crist was very successful, he was a Republican at the time," he declared.

"But Florida has been successful for decades, in fact, probably as or more successful than it is now," the former president went on to insist.

Yet during Monday's episode of his podcast, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro pointed out that rally attendees did not roar with approval for Trump's attacks on DeSantis the way they did when he went after Democrats like Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Polling data shows Trump is the clear favorite to win GOP's presidential nomination

Fox News agreed with that assessment, pointing out that the crowd grew "noticeably more silent" when DeSantis' name came up.

Still, the network reported on Monday that polling data suggests Trump is the clear favorite to win his party's presidential nomination next year.

A survey aggregate published by Real Clear Politics puts support for Trump among Republican voters at 44.3% compared to 29.2% for DeSantis.

While DeSantis has yet to publicly announce any intention to officially enter the race, he did make a trip to Iowa earlier this month.

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