- Trump is trialing some new nicknames for Ron DeSantis, per The New York Times.
- He has been using the insult “Meatball Ron” in conversations, The Times reported.
- DeSantis may be considering a 2024 presidential run against Trump.
Former President Donald Trump is trying out new nicknames for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, including “Meatball Ron,” per The New York Times.
Trump has used the insult, which is meant as a jab at DeSantis’ appearance, in private conversations, The Times reported on Sunday.
Trump has also called DeSantis “Shutdown Ron” in private, per The Times. This is a reference to DeSantis’ March 2020 executive order that temporarily closed bars and nightclubs in Florida because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trump announced his 2024 presidential run in November and has since pre-emptively launched a series of attacks on his would-be rival, though DeSantis has not launched a presidential bid of his own.
However, DeSantis is close to a final decision on a 2024 presidential run and is considering when he should announce his bid, The Hill reported on February 9, citing Republicans familiar with the matter. He is also one of Trump’s biggest rivals in the GOP.
The Trump-DeSantis feud is just getting uglier
Trump debuted his first nickname for DeSantis, “Ron DeSanctimonious,” at a rally in Pennsylvania in November.
In February, Trump called DeSantis a “RINO Globalist” during a rant on Truth Social. Conspiracy theorists often use the word “globalist” to refer to a fringe, anti-semitic conspiracy theory about a cabal of elite individuals secretly controlling the world. Trump did not give any evidence in his Truth Social post to substantiate the claim that DeSantis is part of this global network of powerful, evil people.
In the last months, Trump has claimed credit for getting DeSantis elected, claimed DeSantis cried in front of him while asking for an endorsement in 2018, and branded DeSantis as “average” and “very disloyal.”
In a Truth Social post on Tuesday, Trump pushed their feud even further when he accused DeSantis of drinking alcohol with students when he was a high school teacher. In response to Trump’s accusation, DeSantis said he spends his time “delivering results for the people of Florida,” not “trying to smear other Republicans.” Insider was unable to verify Trump’s claims about DeSantis.
But in January, DeSantis did acknowledge the continuous haranguing from his former ally.
“I roll out of bed, I have people attacking me from all angles, it’s been happening for many, many years,” DeSantis said during a press conference, responding to a question about Trump’s attacks, per Politico.
Representatives for DeSantis and Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.