President Donald Trump is lashing out in anger the Florida Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee, former congressman Ron DeSantis, POLITICO reported Tuesday.
This is not a positive development for DeSantis with less than seven weeks until the crucial midterm elections on November 6th.
According to POLITICO Trump feels betrayed by DeSantis because he didn’t go along with the president’s debunked conspiracy theory on the number of fatalities caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
After Trump sent several tweets stating his theory that official death tolls were fabricated by Democrats. and understating the number of actual deaths in Puerto Rico, DeSantis attempted to chart his own course. He tried to distance himself from the president, who most people think is largely responsible for his victory in August’s Florida gubernatorial primary.
“Ron DeSantis is committed to standing with the Puerto Rican community, especially after such a tragic loss of life. He doesn’t believe any loss of life has been inflated,” the DeSantis campaign said.
Trump campaigned for DeSantis during the primary campaign, and DeSantis brazenly bragged about how he was Trump’s man in the primary. But then Trump saw the comments DeSantis made about Puerto Rico, and he wasn’t happy.
“The president has told close associates in recent days that he views DeSantis — who won his GOP primary thanks to Trump’s strong support — as profoundly disloyal for distancing himself from the president’s assertion that the Hurricane Maria death toll was inflated by Democrats for political purposes,” the article in POLITICO said.
“DeSantis’s reaction, however, particularly piqued the president. Trump views the former congressman as politically indebted to him, people familiar with the president’s thinking say, because he believes DeSantis owes his electoral success to him,” POLITICO continued.
A person close to Trump described the fallout as a “divorce.”
DeSantis was not the only Florida Republican to dispute Trump’s theory about Hurricane Maria death figures. Current Governor Rick Scott, the Republican Party nominee for the U.S. Senate, also refused to go along with Trump in disputing the official Maria death toll.
DeSantis has trailed Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum in every poll taken since the August 28th primary. The last thing he can afford is to lose the backing of Trump supporters. On the other hand, he can’t afford to lose more Puerto Rican votes either. Truly the young former congressman is between a rock and a hard place, and the president has put him there.