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Tipsheet

Trump's New Nickname for DeSantis Hits Below the Belt

Courtesy of Marissa Forte

There are many things to comment on about Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential run. It’s not nearly as captivating as his 2016 campaign, but that’s to be expected. He’s a former president, and the outsider label no longer applies to him. He also must deal with the pending 2024 announcement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who can run as an outsider and is less boisterous than the former president. So far, he's much less polarizing among the GOP base, though that might be shifting as the more loudmouth Trump supporters have tried to sell the line that DeSantis is some closet progressive. I could vote for either of these guys, but DeSantis probably gives the GOP the best shot to win if Trump continues down a path that’s sowed misery for the GOP since the 2018 midterms. Yet, we’re not going to get into that right now. 

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The nicknames were a linchpin of the 2016 campaign. From “little Marco to “lyin’ Ted,” Trump turned candidates, once considered prime presidential material, into punchlines. He’s fallen flat with DeSantis, some of them don’t resonate or click, and he’s barking up the wrong tree concerning COVID lockdowns. His team is brainstorming better attack lines against the Florida Republican, some of which hit “below the belt” literally as the Daily Beast noted. Bloomberg has the rest of the story:

Holed up at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida, former President Donald Trump spends many mornings golfing and then, in the afternoons, plots his political comeback. 

Maybe he’ll shoot videos on policy proposals for his latest presidential campaign. But much of his and his team’s time is spent bemoaning his lack of coverage by Fox News and other cable networks, griping about his 2020 reelection defeat — something he’s very much not letting go — and workshopping new nicknames for his chief rival in GOP politics, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. 

Trump, allies say, seems set on “Ron DeSanctimonious,” even though others around him don’t think it’s a bullseye. Some of the new ideas the former president’s entertained: “Ron DisHonest.” “Ron DeEstablishment.” Or even, “Tiny D.” 

His team has spent weeks trying to dig up dirt on DeSantis’s record as governor; his wife, Casey, a former television journalist; his year teaching at a boarding school in Georgia and his record as a member of Congress, including support for raising the US retirement age and partly privatizing Medicare as part of then-Speaker Paul Ryan’s conservative budget plan. 

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“Tiny D” is that for real? It’s something no one should be shocked about coming from Trump. It’s an unwarranted throwback, however, to the infamous “hands debate” held during the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference. At that moment, the presidential race became that kind of contest. 


We’ll see what happens.

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