In a sensational outburst on Truth Social, former President Donald Trump’s camp unleashed a barrage of accusations against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, likening him to an attention-seeking “OnlyFans model” for engaging in a debate with California Governor Gavin Newsom. The caustic press release, issued by Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung and provocatively titled “Kiss of Death,” came as DeSantis prepared to enter the debate arena on Fox News.
Cheung mocked DeSantis’ approach to the presidential race, suggesting that his actions were more akin to a desperate cry for media attention than the calculated moves of a serious contender. The statement went on to deride DeSantis with colorful metaphors, portraying him as a performer rather than a politician, and foretelling an outlandish display during the debate that would befit a “San Francisco crackhead” more than the governor of Florida.
The Trump camp’s scathing attack underscores the growing tension between the two high-profile Republican figures as DeSantis seeks to establish himself as Trump’s primary alternative. Trump’s team has been vocally dismissive of DeSantis’ prospects, citing his lagging position in key early states and the perceived lack of potential in a second Trump term.
Despite Trump’s formidable lead in polls, DeSantis has secured notable endorsements, including from Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds and a prominent evangelical figure, suggesting a shifting dynamic in the GOP field. David Avella, a seasoned GOP strategist, acknowledged DeSantis’ favorable standing in Iowa but noted the considerable challenge he faces against Trump’s active campaign.
The unfolding narrative is one of a Republican contest that is heating up, with Trump’s team determined to assert dominance over a field that includes an increasingly prominent DeSantis. The discourse sets the stage for a fiercely competitive battle for the Republican nomination, where personalities and political tactics are as much a part of the campaign as policy and governance.