Trump took aim at Ron DeSantis and others in the GOP after a disappointing Election Day for Republicans spurred backlash against the former president.
Former President Donald Trump unloaded an avalanche of social media posts from Thursday evening through early Friday about everything from the news media, the midterm election results,
Voter fraud, and ascendant members of his own party, including Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin and potential 2024 foe Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The outburst came on the heels of a disappointing election for Republicans and a particularly bad night for Trump, as many of his high-profile endorsees lost. The results, combined with a blockbuster reelection win for DeSantis, saw many on the right, including some of Trump’s most previously ardent supporters,
Speculate that Trump’s time as the standard-bearer for the party should come to an end and that the mantle should be picked up by DeSantis heading into 2024. Several polls on and since Tuesday reflect that Trump’s star may be falling among Republicans, while DeSantis’ is rising.
Trump’s posts on his social network site, Truth Social, appeared to almost directly address those criticisms and storylines, though he cast his net wide. Some of his targets included Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (“Broken Old Crow Mitch McConnell”), “Low Energy”
Jeb Bush and Youngin, whom Trump addressed with bizarrely racist undertones, posting, “Young Kin (now that’s an interesting take. Sounds Chinese, doesn’t it?) in Virginia couldn’t have won without me.” (Youngkin is white.)
The former president also reposted a meme referencing the conspiracy theory QAnon, praised the midterm election results, and repeated a number of unsubstantiated and untrue claims about voter fraud.
“WE WON! Pelosi is gone, we take Congress and, if we can stop their very obvious CHEATING, will also take the Senate. Big Victory, don’t be stupid. Stand on the rooftops and shout it out loud!” Trump said.
As of midday Friday, control of both chambers of Congress remained uncertain with votes still being tabulated in Arizona, Nevada, California and elsewhere. Republicans are predicted to take back control of the House by a slim margin, while the fate of the Senate remains unclear. There is no evidence of any widespread fraud or other issues.
But Trump’s biggest target was, by far, DeSantis, whom he has dubbed “Ron DeSanctimonious.” There is wide speculation that DeSantis will run for president in 2024, and though the governor has been coy about his future plans, he had taken steps in the last year to raise his national profile.
Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games! The Fake News asks him if he’s going to run if President Trump runs, and he says, “I’m only focused on the Governor’s race, I’m not looking into the future.” Well, in terms of loyalty and class, that’s really not the right answer,” Trump posted.
He also made extraordinary – and unverified – claims that he sent law enforcement to Florida to control the outcome of the elections in 2018.
“I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott,
I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen,” Trump said.
Interestingly, Trump likened the current climate to resistance he faced from established media and figureheads on the right in 2015 and 2016, positioning himself as an underdog once again.
He is going ahead with an event Tuesday during which he is expected to announce a comeback bid for the White House in 2024. It’s unclear whether Trump will regain support from the right as the midterm elections fade into the distance, or whether Tuesday marked the beginning of the end of the GOP’s one-man party.