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Donald Trump launches first attack against potential adversary Ron DeSantis during Pennsylvania rally

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump took a shot at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday night. Trump – who endorsed DeSantis’ 2018 bid for governor – delivered his first public attack on DeSantis. Trump gave DeSantis one of his trademark nicknames during a rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

In what was intended to be a rally to pump up Republican candidates to win critical midterm elections, Trump used the spotlight to attack the Republican governor of Florida.

Trump read polling numbers for favorite Republicans to run for president in the 2024 election, during which he called the Florida governor "Ron DeSanctimonious."

"Trump at 71%, Ron DeSanctimonious at 10%," the former president told the crowd.

Trump was citing a Premise poll of only 512 adults between Sept. 2 and Sept. 5.

Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone reportedly used the "Ron DeSanctimonious" nickname in a recent post on Truth Social.

“@realDonaldTrump’s endorsement MADE Ron DeSanctimonius Governor #ingrate,” Stone allegedly wrote.

Several polls show support for both Trump and DeSantis as the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.

The CPAC straw poll taken in February found that Trump was the overwhelming favorite 2024 Republican candidate at 55% versus 21% for DeSantis.

The Granite State Poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center conducted in June revealed that 39% of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters favor DeSantis over 37% who want Trump to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2024.

A Politico/Morning Consult poll from August said that 58% of registered Republican voters want Trump to be the nominee versus only 16% for DeSantis.

A USA Today/Suffolk University poll taken in September of likely Florida midterm voters showed that 48% would support DeSantis compared to 40% for Trump.

In 2017, then-President Trump gave a glowing endorsement to gubernatorial candidate DeSantis.

Trump wrote on Twitter, "Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!"

In June, Trump was asked about making DeSantis his running mate in 2024.

Trump replied, "Well, I get along with him. I was very responsible for his success, because I endorsed him and he went up like a rocket ship."

During Saturday night's rally, Trump hinted that he is running again for president and will make an announcement very soon.

"Now, in order to make our country successful and safe and glorious, I will very, very, very probably do it again, OK? Very, very, very probably. Very, very, very probably," Trump told the crowd. "Get ready, that’s all I’m telling you. Very soon."

There are multiple reports that Trump will announce that he is running in 2024 on Nov. 14.

As for DeSantis, he is leading his Democratic gubernatorial opponent Charlie Crist by 12 points, according to a recent Spectrum News/Siena College poll.

Trump will be in Miami on Sunday to campaign for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Politico reported, "DeSantis wasn’t invited and didn’t ask to attend. Underscoring the perceived slight, DeSantis’ campaign declared that the governor will tour 13 Florida cities in the remaining days of the 2022 midterms, including three on Sunday, just days after Trump announced his gathering."

A Republican consultant allegedly told the media outlet, "They did not invite Ron, which I do think was stupid. Why not try and avoid the appearance of the fight? But in their defense, I don’t know that he would have come even if he was invited."

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden referred to DeSantis as "Donald Trump incarnate."

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