Donald Trump told supporters at his rally in Miami, Florida on Sunday to re-elect Ron DeSantis as their governor — a day after he taunted the popular GOP leader as “Ron De-Sanctimonious.”
He said Floridians will re-elect “a good friend of mine, Marco Rubio” in two days’ time when Americans go to the polls on Nov. 8. Rubio faces a challenge for his Senate seat from Democratic House Representative Val Demings.
“You’re going to choose DeSantis as your governor,” he added to the cheers of the crowd.
Across the aisle, Trump also seemed to refer to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the recent break-in at her home, which led to her 82-year-old husband being brutally attacked with a hammer by an intruder who allegedly embraced QAnon beliefs.
“Crazy Nancy Pelosi, how has she been lately?” the ex-president asked sarcastically. He also called on voters to “fire” her from the House Speakership, a phrase echoed by most of the speakers at Sunday’s rally.
Trump told rally-goers at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Center with reference to Democrats in general, “You have to crush the communists,” noting that he has stepped up his rhetoric to call the left “socialists.”
“The communist and Marxist orientation of the radical Democratic Party is one of the biggest reasons…Americans are joining our movement,” Trump said.
It’s because Republicans have experienced a wave of last-minute momentum heading into Tuesday’s election, with RealClearPolitics projecting a decisive GOP victory in the House of Representatives and possibly a Senate victory.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in support of the campaign of Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022 in Miami
Supporters packed at the outdoor Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition Center despite the rainy weather
If they win a majority in both houses of Congress, Trump said Sunday, the GOP must “immediately force the restoration of our southern border.”
He went one step further, calling for ‘doubling’ the number of customs and border police and ICE officers.
Border security has been one of Republicans’ main points of attack for Democrats amid a record wave of migrant encounters on the US border with Mexico.
He also teased his own future plans for 2024 and praised the number of voters he received in 2020.
“I did much better the second time around,” Trump said, referring to the number of votes he got when he lost to President Joe Biden. “And now, to make our country successful, except glorious, I’ll probably have to do it again.”
Trump held his third rally of a four-state swing Sunday night, preparing to take the podium in Miami, Florida, just two days before Election Day.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hit three separate counties for his own speaking engagements, but he will give Trump a wide berth in Miami-Dade.
He was excluded from the litany of GOP figures who spoke for Trump, including Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, and House Representatives Matt Gaetz, Vern Buchanan and Michael Waltz, among others.
DeSantis’ absence comes as no surprise given the increasingly hostile relations between the GOP’s rising star and his de facto party leader.
At his second of four rallies on Saturday night, Trump derided DeSantis as “Ron De-Sanctimonious” in Pennsylvania while rejecting a list of potential Republican challengers for 2024.
The popular Republican governor has resisted taking public shots at Trump, perhaps aware of how intertwined their bases are, but has not ruled out the possibility of challenging him in 2024.
Donald Trump mocked Ron DeSantis as ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ at a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday night
As Trump Appears in Miami, DeSantis Will Speak at Three Meetings Closer to Tampa on Sunday
His reluctance to do so has hurt Trump, who has widely taken credit for DeSantis’ rise to political stardom from just another House Republican to winning a close race for the Tallahassee mansion in 2018.
But more recently, DeSantis made a national name for himself with his vocal criticism of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 precautions and other attacks, as well as legislation targeting LGBTQ youth.
The vast majority of GOP voters’ polls in early 2024 have placed DeSantis right behind Trump in terms of who Republicans want as their next presidential candidate.
Trump has not yet formally stated that he plans to flee, but he has provided several hints to clarify where he is leaning.
“We’re winning big, big, big in the Republican Party for the nomination like no one has ever seen before,” the former president said Saturday night.
He asked to put poll numbers on the screen above him.
“There it is, Trump at 71, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent,” Trump said derisively.
“Mike Pence at 7 o’clock, oh, Mike is doing better than I thought. Liz Cheney, she’s really not at 4 percent. There is no way. There is no way. But we’re at 71 to 10 to 7 to 4.’
Surprisingly, Mike Pompeo, Trump’s former Secretary of State and himself a potential candidate for 2024, was one of the first prominent Republicans to rush to DeSantis’ defense.
‘Not tired of winning. [Governor Ron DeSantis] you have proven that conservative policies work. Florida is better for it. Vote for [DeSantis].’
Trump’s inner circle has been eyeing Nov. 14 as the expected date when he will announce a third White House bid, Axios reported last week.
DeSantis, meanwhile, made the closing pleas for his own reelection bid on Sunday.
He is running for a second term in office against Charlie Crist, a House Democrat who previously ruled Florida from Tallahassee as a Republican.
Despite remaining taciturn about his presidential ambitions, DeSantis has amassed a massive $200 million war chest for his re-election bid in 2022 — a dazzling sum for a governor candidate.
His Sunday rallies are part of his “Don’t Tread on Florida” tour. The stops included Lee, Hillsborough and Sarasota counties.