PALM BEACH, Fla. - Just days after Governor Ron DeSantis was elected to serve as governor for a second term, former President Donald J. Trump released a full-page statement that expressed his feelings about the Florida governor. This comes after he stated that DeSantis running for president would be a mistake.
But Trump didn’t stop there. He went on to credit Governor DeSantis’s success to himself, saying that before he joined forces with him in 2017 when the governor was "politically dead."
He called him "ungrateful" and an "average governor." He added that DeSantis’s success is linked to "great public relations" and "sunshine," saying because of that, people would flock to Florida no matter who the governor is, just like he did.
Trump said if he hadn’t stepped in when the governor was running back in 2018, DeSantis probably would not have pulled off a victory, as he had "low approval, bad polls, and no money" before the former president stepped in.
This attack on the governor comes less than 48 hours after DeSantis’ re-election, as he beat Charlie Christ by a much wider margin than political analysts had predicted, even without Trump's endorsement.
In his statement Trump also complained about Republicans being all in for DeSantis, saying he’s now in the same position as when he was up against "low energy Jeb Bush" going on to say he defeated him, and he plans to win again.
Republicans intensified their public criticism of former President Donald Trump on Thursday, with some saying it was time for the party to move on after an unexpectedly poor showing in the midterm elections. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, noted Trump’s role in lifting some inexperienced and controversial candidates during primaries earlier this year who went on to lose in this week’s elections.
In an interview, Thune said there’s "no substitute for good quality candidates."
Gov. DeSantis and Casey DeSantis wave to the crowd of supporters inside the Tampa Convention Center following his victory speech.
Virginia’s Republican lieutenant governor, Winsome Earle-Sears, once a vocal Trump supporter, said voters had sent "a very clear message" Tuesday that "enough is enough."
"The voters have spoken and they have said that they want a different leader. And a true leader understands when they have become a liability," she said in an appearance on Fox Business. "A true leader understands that it’s time to step off the stage. It is time to move on."
Other Trump allies provided statements to media outlets on the former president’s behalf, endorsing him even before his impending announcement.
"I am proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for President in 2024. I fully support him running again," House GOP Chairwoman Elise Stefanik said in a statement. "It is time for Republicans to unite around the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven track record of conservative governance."
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz gave a full-throated endorsement of former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination on Wednesday as other conservatives blamed the ex-president for the Republican Party's middling performance in the midterm elections.
"The job President Trump started was not finished. Only Trump can be trusted to enact the ‘America First’ agenda he ran on in 2016. We won’t accept any imitation," Gaetz wrote.
Former President Trump hasn’t announced his plan to run but has said that he will have a major announcement next Tuesday from Mar-a-Lago. While Governor DeSantis has also not said whether or not he plans to run in 2024, only that he’s focusing now on his title as governor.
Some advisers had urged Trump to delay his planned announcement until after the Dec. 6 Senate runoff election in Georgia that could determine which party controls the Senate to avoid turning the race into a referendum on him and unintentionally helping Democrats. But Trump, rebuffing that advice, on Thursday invited reporters to a "Special Announcement" at his Mar-a-Lago club on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 9 p.m.
Trump's full statement is below:
"NewsCorp, which is Fox, the Wall Street Journal, and the no longer great New York Post (bring back Col!), is all in for Governor Ron DeSanctimonious, an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations, who didn’t have to close up his State, but did, unlike other Republican Governors, whose overall numbers for a Republican, were just average—middle of the pack—including COVID, and who has the advantage of SUNSHINE, where people from badly run States up North would go no matter who the Governor was, just like I did!
Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017—he was politically dead, losing in a landslide to a very good Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, who was loaded up with cash and great poll numbers. Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. I didn’t know Adam so I said, "Let’s give it a shot, Ron." When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off. Years later, they were the exact words that Adam Putnam used in describing Ron’s Endorsement. He said, "I went from having it made, with no competition, to immediately getting absolutely clobbered after your Endorsement." I then got Ron by the "Star" of the Democrat Party, Andrew Gillum (who was later revealed to be a "Crack Head"), by having two massive Rallies with tens of thousands of people at each one. I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen…
And now, Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, "I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future." Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer.
This is just like 2015 and 2016, a Media Assault (Collusion!), when Fox News fought me to the end until I won, and then they couldn’t have been nicer or more supportive. The Wall Street Journal loved Low Energy Jeb Bush, and a succession of other people as they rapidly disappeared from sight, finally falling in line with me after I easily knocked them out, one by one. We’re in exactly the same position now. They will keep coming after us, MAGA, but ultimately, we will win. Put America First and, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report