Although they called a ceasefire on Sunday, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are already back in the trenches. Just one day after dropping out of the Republican primary and endorsing Trump, DeSantis announced his intention to block a Florida House bill that would give financial support to the former president’s legal woes. So much for Republican unity…
The “Freedom Fighters Fund,” which was introduced by Florida state senator Ileana Garcia on January 5, would have provided up to $5 million for Floridian presidential candidates facing legal actions. The bill didn’t name anyone in particular, but Cockburn can only think of one Sunshine State resident currently running for president and embroiled in a lawsuit — four actually.
Although Senator Garcia announced on Monday night that she would be withdrawing the bill, it was doomed from the start. Shortly after slinking back to the Gator State in humiliating defeat, DeSantis promised to veto the bill. He tweeted a Politico headline, “Some Florida Republicans want taxpayers to pay Trump’s legal bills,” along with the caption: “But not the Florida Republican who wields the veto pen.”
Tensions had been cooling between the belligerents before DeSantis’s post. Trump had promised on Sunday that he would retire the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious.” “I just want to thank Ron and congratulate him on doing a very good job,” Trump said in a speech on Sunday, apparently ignoring DeSantis’s abysmal performance in the Iowa Caucus. “He was very gracious, and he endorsed me. I appreciate that, and I also look forward to working with Ron.”
Still, Trump said that it would be “highly unlikely” for DeSantis to find a spot in his administration. “I have a lot of great people, and I have great people that have been with me right from the beginning,” he said.
The Nikki Haley punching bag now remains the last hope for GOP unity. The former president has recently taken to calling Haley “Nimbra,” a butchering of her birth name. In his endorsement speech, DeSantis attacked the “repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”