Trump mocks DeSantis at Pennsylvania rally: ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’

Ancient President Donald Trump took a swipe at Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a Saturday night rally calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” in what could be a sign of growing tension between the two potential presidential candidates.

“We’re winning big in the Republican Party for the nomination like no one has ever seen before,” Trump told a crowd in Latrobe, Pennsylvania Saturday night before running down the list of other Republicans who could potentially challenge him in 2024.

“There he is, Trump 71%, Ron DeSanctimonious 10%,” Trump told the crowd as he read the approval numbers from various Republicans.

“Mike Pence at seven, oh, Mike is doing better than I thought,” Trump continued. “Liz Cheney, there’s no way she’s 4%. There’s no way. There’s no way. But we’re 71-10-7-4.”

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(L) Former President Donald Trump (R) Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
(Alex Wong/Getty Images/Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Trump’s stunt comes as the two are widely seen as the top two Republican contenders to clinch the Republican presidential nomination and reports have circulated of possible growing tension between the two camps.

DeSantis rumors dismissed of a rift between him and Trump earlier this year saying Trump is a “friend of mine.”

“He wants to see Republicans do well,” DeSantis told Fox News in February. “And I think when the media tries to act like they’re mad at me for doing well, I think that’s completely crazy. I think they’re just making it up.”

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Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally in support of local candidates September 3, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally in support of local candidates September 3, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In recent months, Trump regularly outperforms DeSantis in polls of Republican voters before 2024, but the governor remains Trump’s most important potential rival.

A presidential poll at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit found that 78.7% of attendees favored Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024. Another straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference in August found Trump had 69% support from attendees to run in 2024. DeSantis came in with just 24% support.

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Trump publicly expressed his displeasure with DeSantis last month after the Florida Republican endorsed Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea despite O’Dea’s vocal criticism of Trump.

“A BIG MISTAKE!” Trump posted on Truth Social in response to the decision.

Trump will take part in a Florida rally in support of Florida Republican Marco Rubio on Sunday in Miami at an event that Fox News reported did not include an invite for DeSantis despite his immense popularity with state Republicans.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looks on prior to the start of a game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators at TIAA Bank Field on October 29, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis looks on prior to the start of a game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators at TIAA Bank Field on October 29, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida.
(James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Trump has yet to say whether he plans to run for president, but many political pundits believe he will make the announcement soon after Tuesday’s midterm elections.

DeSantis refused to say during a debate last month over whether he will run in 2024, fueling speculation he was considering throwing his hat in the ring.

Representatives for DeSantis and Trump did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report

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