Trump Texas rally falls quiet after he mocks Ron DeSantis
The typically raucous crowd at former President Donald Trump’s Waco, Texas, rally didn’t give him any love when he mocked Florida Gov. and expected presidential rival Ron DeSantis on Saturday.
Speaking to his supporters, Trump recounted how DeSantis asked him for an endorsement for his 2018 governor’s race, claiming the Florida Republican came to him with “tears in his eyes.”
The former president ultimately touted himself as DeSantis’ savior, claiming it was his endorsement that secured a win for the Florida governor.
But as Trump imitated DeSantis in a pleading voice, the throngs were unusually silent, failing to cheer as they did when he attacked other foes such as Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz.
The incident is only the latest in a series of jabs between Trump and DeSantis, as both are poised to be the frontrunners for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination.
Trump received the cold reception even as the crowd was rallying over his lead in recent polls.
That was when the former president took his chance to slam his former ally, painting him as a crony who was “begging for an endorsement” in 2018.
“So, he came, and he really wanted [my endorsement],” Trump recalled. “I said, ‘You can’t win, can you? How do you – can [you] win?’”
Imitating DeSantis in a mocking tone, Trump said: “‘Sir, if you endorse me, I’ll win. Please, please, sir, endorse me.’ ”
Even Trump’s claims that DeSantis was “not good” on crime were met with relative silence, with the crowd only returning to their usual selves once Trump stopped targeting his rival.
Trump claimed he would have been better off endorsing DeSantis’ GOP rival, Adam Putnam, and said it was sad he hadn’t known the other Republican better.
“I said, ‘Let’s give it a shot, Ron,’ ” Trump added. “I did rallies for Ron, massive rallies, and they were very successful. So we got him the nomination. We then got him the election.
“Two years later, the fake news is up there saying, ‘Will you run?’ And [DeSantis] says, ‘I have no comment.’
“I say, ‘That’s not supposed to happen,’” the former president said, indicating he apparently felt backstabbed by DeSantis’ potential run.
Along with the mocking remarks, Trump went on to bash DeSantis over his record on Social Security and Medicare and also called the Florida governor out for re-opening his state early when the former president shut the nation down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump noted that Florida was in great shape before DeSantis’ election, even suggesting that the state was better off before the governor took over.
“Remember one thing: Florida has been tremendously successful for many years, long before this guy became governor,” Trump said. “Florida was tremendously successful under Rick Scott. … [And] whether you like him or not, Charlie Crist was very successful, he was a Republican at the time.
“But Florida has been successful for decades, in fact, probably as or more successful than it is now.”
DeSantis’s office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.