Waco, Texas: Former President Donald Trump’s rally in Waco, Texas, experienced an unusual silence when he attempted to mock Florida Gov.
Ron DeSantis, his expected rival for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Trump told the crowd that DeSantis approached him with “tears in his eyes” for an endorsement in his 2018 governor’s race.
The former president claimed his support led to DeSantis’ victory.
However, as Trump mimicked DeSantis’ pleading voice, the normally noisy crowd fell quiet, starkly contrasting their cheers when he targeted opponents such as Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz.
This incident comes amid a series of verbal exchanges between Trump and DeSantis; both are considered frontrunners for the Republican nomination in 2024.
However, the crowd’s cold response came despite their excitement over Trump’s lead in recent polls.
Trump seized the opportunity to criticize DeSantis, portraying him as a crony who desperately sought his endorsement in 2018.
However, the crowd’s silence persisted, even when Trump claimed that DeSantis was “not good” on crime.
The rallygoers only returned to their usual enthusiasm when Trump stopped attacking his rival.
Trump suggested he might have been better off endorsing DeSantis’ GOP rival, Adam Putnam, and expressed regret for not knowing the other Republican better.
He also criticized DeSantis for his potential run, feeling betrayed by the Florida governor’s refusal to comment.
In addition to the mockery, Trump attacked DeSantis’ record on Social Security and Medicare and his decision to reopen Florida early during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former president claimed the state was more successful before DeSantis took office.
“Florida has been tremendously successful for many years, long before this guy became governor,” Trump said, referring to the tenures of former governors Rick Scott and Charlie Crist.
DeSantis’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.