Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) “a failed candidate” and claimed DeSantis wouldn’t have won the 2018 gubernatorial election without his endorsement.
“DeSantis is a failed candidate,” Trump told Newsmax in an interview. “If I didn’t endorse DeSantis, he wouldn’t have ever won. You know, he was out. Then I endorsed him and he went up and was able to win.”
He added moments later: “You know what? He’s a failed candidate again. He’s got no personality, he’s got nothing going. And he’s dropped like a rock.”
Trump then took another jab at DeSantis, saying he doesn’t think the governor will continue polling in second place.
“I mean somebody’s going to come along, like maybe Tim Scott or somebody, and probably take his place,” Trump said.
Scott, a South Carolina senator, has recently been polling in the single digits—generally about 50 points behind Trump and 13 points behind DeSantis.
Trump went on to say he thinks DeSantis’ faltering 2024 bid could prevent him from being successful should he choose to run in 2028.
While Trump deemed DeSantis “a failure” on Wednesday, some social media users had already been mocking him as such in recent weeks with jokes and memes about Jeb Bush—another former Florida governor and unsuccessful presidential candidate.
One user made a parody of “The Sound of Silence,” dubbed “Faces of Failure,” showing DeSantis and Bush singing together about being a failure.
“Jeb DeSantis is imploding & I want more,” posted another user.
“Desantis is Jeb Bush 2.0,” declared author Don Winslow.
Trump noted in June that Fox News was “pushing” DeSantis “and they’re not getting anywhere.”
“They were pushing Jeb Bush with me,” Trump said. “You remember Jeb? Whatever happened to Jeb?”
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*First Published: Aug 10, 2023, 9:44 am CDT
Katherine Huggins is a New York-based journalist and freelance contributor to the Daily Dot’s tech and politics section. She helps cover the United Nations for the Japanese newspaper Mainichi and previously reported on the 2022 midterm elections for Marketwatch. Her work has appeared in USA Today, Forbes, OpenSecrets and more.