Taking to Truth Social early on Saturday (February 18) morning, former President Donald Trump announced he wouldn’t call Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “Meatball Ron,” rebutting reports he had done so privately.
Trump made the revelation while using his newly coined dig at DeSantis, “DeSanctimonious,” saying on Truth Social that he would “never call Ron DeSanctimonious ‘Meatball’ Ron, as the Fake News is insisting.”
The New York Times was the first to report on revelations that Trump referred to DeSantis as “Meatball Ron” in casual conversation.
The name is apparently a dig at DeSantis’s appearance and Italian heritage.
However, as he came out to defend himself against rumors he’d used the name as a dig at DeSantis, Trump used the opportunity to criticize and diminish his strongest 2024 rival.
Trump slammed DeSantis’s tenure as Governor of Florida, referring to him as “Shutdown Ron,” saying that Florida’s “beaches and State were closed for long periods of time” during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also suggested Florida’s “testing, testing, testing for the China Virus didn’t work out too well” before criticizing the Florida Governor’s loyalty, saying his “loyalty skills are weak.”
Although DeSantis has neither entered the race nor hinted at an entry into the race, the Florida Governor is considered Trump’s greatest rival in the GOP Presidential nomination.
This has sparked a predominately one-sided rivalry, with Trump using every opportunity to discredit and spoil DeSantis’s name.
For example, earlier this month, Trump promoted a social media post that alleged DeSantis had groomed high school girls with alcohol and partied with students of a Georgia private school nearly 20 years ago.