Trump releases two videos in response to DeSantis announcing bid for president

Trump has spent months preparing for DeSantis' highly anticipated campaign launch as the two Republicans officially become rivals.

Updated: May 24, 2023 - 7:18pm

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Trump ReTruth on Truth Social
Trump ReTruth on Truth Social
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    After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis formally entered the 2024 race on Wednesday, former President Donald Trump responded to the news through his social media platform Truth Social.

    DeSantis launched his campaign over Twitter on Wednesday with the theme of leading a "Great American Comeback." Trump reacted by posting his own pair of campaign videos: one taking credit for the governor's 2018 election, and another dubbing DeSantis a "Washington-established" candidate.

    Accusing DeSantis of mirroring him, the ad went on to say, "there is only one Donald Trump" and that Americans shouldn't "settle for" his "imposters."

    Prior to posting the videos, Trump appeared to responded to the news through a reposted Truth, which reads: "Any Republican Who Challenges Trump Cannot Be America First."

    The post 'ReTruthed' by the former President links to a Substack article co-written by Paul Ingrassia and Gavin Wax. In the piece, the two call Gov. DeSantis out by name, claiming his "political talents" are "better utilized" helping turn battleground states red, "rather than shadow campaigning."

    "It is impossible for any candidate who mounts a Republican Party challenge against President Donald J. Trump to be truly America First," they also declared. At the end of the article, they suggest the "'DeSantis movement'" is defined by "great oppositional forces in right-wing power centers to the MAGA movement, which, despite their waning influence, cling for dear life to what diminishing clout they have."

    Trump made several direct attacks at DeSantis Wednesday morning before the news broke that he had officially filed to run, using his signature "DeSanctus" nickname, the former President said DeSantis "was, and is, a disciple of horrible RINO Paul Ryan, and others too many to mention," adding that he "needs a personality transplant."

    The former President also called DeSantis 'disloyal' repeatedly, stating that "Rob DeSanctimonious" was "losing badly" when he first ran for governor and asked Trump for a boost.

    "He came to me asking for help," Trump wrote. "He was getting ready to drop out of the race" before Trump gave him an endorsement. Trump said that after that show of support, DeSantis "went from losing badly, to winning by a lot."

    The former president has spent months targeting DeSantis, who is widely considered Trump's top rival for the 2024 primary.  DeSantis has consistently ranked second in polling, and the two are the only candidates with double-digit support in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

    DeSantis -- whose popularity surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and who won his gubernatorial re-election by nearly 20 points -- is officially announced his campaign on a Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk.

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