Trump sets off firestorm among conservatives for attack on DeSantis
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis / Gage Skidmore

In his speech at a rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Saturday night, Donald Trump couldn't help but take a shot at Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) who will likely be his main competition should they both run for the GOP's 2024 presidential nomination.

That shot by the former president, who will be holding a rally in Florida on Sunday that DeSantis was not invited to, set off a wave of anger by conservatives who aren't interested in an internal GOP war several days before the midterms.

Promoting his strong polling numbers for the 2024 nomination, Trump told the crowd, "There it is, Trump at 71. Ron DeSanctimonious at 10 percent. Mike Pence at 7–oh, Mike Pence doing better than I thought.”

Trump's dubbing DeSantis as "DeSanctimonious, -- reminiscent of his calling Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "Lying Ted" and labeling Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as "Little Marco" -- set off a furious backlash against the former president with one prominent critic calling the slur "weak."

As documented by the Daily Beast's Zachary Petrizzo, the conservative response was to fire back at Trump for creating more discord.

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According to Petrizzo, conservative gadfly Matt Walsh lashed out, calling it a "dumb nickname" and then added, "Trump isn’t going to be able to take this one [DeSantis] down with a dumb nickname. He better have more than that up his sleeve. Also, nice job launching your public attack against the most popular conservative governor in America three days before the midterms when we’re all supposed to be showing a united front.”

Human Event's publisher Will Chamberlain sneered at the comment ("This is just weak"), before predicting "Calling it now, DeSantis is going to run, and he’s going to beat Trump badly.”

Normally Trump-supporting Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) sided with DeSantis, writing, "Or… Ron De…SaidNoToFauci… that’s another angle.”

According to Petrizzo, the nickname and attack on DeSantis also irritated Red State editor Jennifer Van Larr, who first wrote, "Enough, Trump. Stop. Move on," with fellow Red State writer Scott Morefield adding, "Other than being an extremely effective governor and taking one leftist scalp after another, what has Ron DeSantis done to earn Trump’s scorn here right before an election? It’s inexcusable and just shows this has always been about him."

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