Donald Trump is seething, lashing out on his social media, and threatening “retribution” as his own party is throwing its weight behind his potential challenger, Ron DeSantis.
The former president is in the unique position of being the only possible choice for a significant segment of his party, while being absolutely off the table as a candidate for another significant segment.
DeSantis, meanwhile, hailed as a rising star in the GOP, is going out of his way to demonstrate he can pull off anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant stunts to match Trump’s — but allegedly without some of the baggage.
Though DeSantis hasn’t declared his candidacy yet, the divide between his and Trump’s camps is already apparent.
For instance, a crowd carrying Trump signs say they were turned away from an event the Florida Governor held to promote his new book, as you’ll see in a clip shared below.
DeSantis has also been invited to a fundraising event this weekend by the Club for Growth — an influential conservative group.
They haven’t explicitly indicated they’re supporting DeSantis in 2024 rather than Trump, but the twice-impeached and ousted ex-president is clearly taking it as a snub, posting in the middle of Tuesday night:
“Failed former Congressman David McIntosh and his Globalist friends at Club for No Growth, who fought me all the way in 2016, and LOST, and then fought me again in 2020 Senate Races in Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, New Hampshire, plus more, and LOST AGAIN, are now threatening to spend money against me early because their new boy, Ron DeSanctus, the man who wants to cut Social Security and MediCare, has dropped so drastically in the Polls to me. No Growth Members know there will be RETRIBUTION!!!”
The event, which is being held on the same weekend as CPAC, includes invitations for DeSantis and for former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who announced her presidential run last month, as well as other potential candidates, including Mike Pence and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, according to The Hill — but no Trump.
Even before the last election cycle, though, Trump and Club for Growth had a hot-and-cold relationship, with the organization running anti-Trump ads in 2015, when the New York Post reported that Macintosh said he wouldn’t back down until he got the message to the public that Trump is “not an economic conservative.”
It’s not even Trump’s first attack on the organization this week — the attack overnight seems to come after he steamed about his snub all day. Early Tuesday morning, he had posted:
Club for NO Growth is an insignificant group of Globalists who I have beaten badly because of their anti America [sic] First views. They will only get the “stragglers.”
Here we go…DeSantis has Trump supporters turned away from event. pic.twitter.com/6nta0lUfvz
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) March 1, 2023