“The View” co-host Ana Navarro praised former President Donald Trump’s new nickname for Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during Monday’s panel.
The former president mocked his possible presidential primary rival, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” during a Saturday campaign rally, suggesting growing tension between the two before the 2024 election.
“He took this shot at Ron DeSanctimonious which is a wonderful nickname because frankly DeSantis is sanctimonious, Ron DeSantis thinks God created him on the eighth day as the fighter, so that’s a little sanctimonious,” Navarro said. “And Donald Trump is so good at this, right? Little Marco, Low Energy Jeb, Lyin’ Ted. Those things stuck.”
The co-host, who is a registered Republican, added that DeSantis is highly popular and about to crush his opponent, Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, in the upcoming gubernatorial election. (RELATED: ‘Yeah, I Said His Name’: Whoopi Goldberg Says ‘Trump’ On Air For The First Time In Over Three Years)
“I as a Floridian can tell you that he wouldn’t say that in Florida. He didn’t say that in Florida because Ron DeSantis is about to win and he’s gonna win bigly with or without Donald Trump. So Donald Trump is giving Ron DeSantis permission to run against him because Ron DeSantis is not going to owe him anything. Let me be clear, I don’t like Ron DeSantis, I don’t like Charlie Crist, but I can read the room and I live in Florida.”
C0-host Sunny Hostin then repeated Trump’s nickname for Republican Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio, “Little Marco,” first coined during the 2016 Republican presidential primary.
“I’m more concerned about the Senate,” Hostin said. “I think if Republicans take over the Senate, legislation as we know it will stop. Biden has been able to do so much for our country through legislative work and it just will stop because Ohio’s competitive despite being Republican for a long time, Georgia you have Herschel Walker versus Senator Warnock, Pennsylvania you’ve got Dr. Oz versus John Fetterman, Arizona you actually got Mark Kelly fighting to keep his seat … and then finally you’ve got Little Marco Rubio, those aren’t my words.”
Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin said DeSantis “doesn’t stand a chance” if Trump announces his candidacy, which he is reportedly expected to do after the midterms.
Some conservatives criticized Trump for mocking the governor on social media.
“This tells you EVERYTHING about why Donald Trump should not be the nominee in 2024,” El American Editor-at-large Ben Kew said.
“Bad mouthing the most effective governor who’s pushed nothing but conservative wins is a bad look for Trump. No idea who he’s taking advice from but it’s bad advice,” Culture War Room’s Ian Miles Cheong said.
Trump and DeSantis have been neck-and-neck as top choice for the Republican nomination in 2024. An Ipsos Research poll, conducted by ABC News, found that a majority of registered Republicans believe the governor should wield more influence over the party than the Trump. The poll surveyed 618 registered voters and had a margin of error of 4.0%.
A Suffolk University and USA Today poll released in September found that DeSantis held narrow favorability over Trump in a hypothetical Republican presidential primary in Florida. DeSantis would defeat Trump 48% to 41% if the election were held that day. The USA Today & Suffolk poll surveyed 500 likely voters in the state and had a margin of error of 4.4%.
The rumored animosity follows DeSantis’ endorsement of Colorado GOP Senate candidate Joe O’Dea, whom Trump called a “Republican in name only” (RINO). Influential people in DeSantis’s circle were reportedly upset that Trump did not invite the governor to participate in a rally alongside Rubio, Politico reported. The former president’s advisers, however, have denied animosity between the two.