Unquestionably, the silly season is upon us as far as the GOP presidential campaigns go, with – among other things – the predictable cease-and-desist letters from woke entertainers starting, Democrats and the media clutching pearls over Donald Trump’s now-viral Georgia mugshot, and the race card being thrown at Nikki Haley over her criticisms of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Relatedly, as silly as questionable rumors about Ron DeSantis go, there have been plenty, with many of them being pushed by the media, of course, as well as Trump and/or his campaign surrogates since well before the Florida Governor officially declared his candidacy.
The most recent one was cranked out on Monday by the former POTUS himself on Truth Social, where he posted a “roomer” (his spelling) about DeSantis allegedly being ready to drop out of the race in order to challenge Sen. Rick Scott for his seat instead.
The original post has since been deleted, but here’s what it looked like:
Wait this is real? pic.twitter.com/VhApxWsNSJ
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 28, 2023
Later, Trump put up a revised post with the correct spelling of the word “rumor”:
Rumors are strong in political circles that Ron DeSanctimonious, whose Presidential run is a shambles, and whose poll numbers have absolutely crashed, putting him 3rd and 4th in some states, will be dropping out of the Presidential race in order to run, in Florida, against Rick Scott for Senate. Now that’s an interesting one, isn’t it?
Bryan Griffin, who is DeSantis’ press secretary, responded accordingly by pointing out that the rumor was “fake news,” while suggesting it was an indicator that Trump and his allies were growing increasingly concerned after DeSantis’ showing at last Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate:
This is fake news. Clearly, Donald Trump and his army of consultants are panicked about @RonDeSantis‘ winning debate performance and the strong momentum that has followed. They know this is a two-man race, and we will carry this on to a win in this presidential primary. Instead of pushing fake news from New Jersey, the Trump campaign should be focused on getting their candidate on the campaign trail in Iowa and on the debate stage before it’s too late.
This is fake news. Clearly, Donald Trump and his army of consultants are panicked about @RonDeSantis' winning debate performance and the strong momentum that has followed. They know this is a two-man race, and we will carry this on to a win in this presidential primary. Instead… https://t.co/f4PNHEzHnE
— Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) August 28, 2023
Though opinions will understandably vary on who won the first debate – with some saying it’s impossible to do so since Trump wasn’t there, according to a Washington Post/538/Ipsos post-debate poll, DeSantis was the victor, followed by Vivek Ramaswamy. As far as money raised in the aftermath, DeSantis again did well in the 24-hour period after the Milwaukee event, raising over $1 million.
Something to keep in mind here is that we are unlikely to see DeSantis himself respond to Trump’s allegation, at least in the short term, because on the day Trump launched the attack on DeSantis, the Governor was back at the helm in his state helping with storm communications and prep ahead of the anticipated arrival of Tropical Storm Idalia, which according to forecasts is expected to turn into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane prior to landfall.
DeSantis canceled campaign events and returned to the state Sunday, assuming the role of comforter-in-chief after the Jacksonville Dollar General mass shooting Saturday which left three dead in what authorities are calling a racially motivated hate crime.
In other words, DeSantis has a lot on his plate as it relates to tragedy and what is being predicted to be a devastating natural disaster, and is not in a position to match swords with Trump.
As to whether or not it is cool for Trump to start the rumor considering it wouldn’t be appropriate for DeSantis himself to respond given the current situation in Florida, I’ll leave that to readers to debate.