Former President Donald Trump will reportedly blacklist anyone who works for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as part of an effort to stop the governor from running for president.
The blacklist, which was first reported on by the right-of-center publication RealClearPolitics, will extend to anyone who has worked on tour to promote the governor’s new #1 bestselling book “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival” or who works on a potential presidential campaign for the governor.
“It’s a time for choosing,” a source close to Trump told the publication. “If you work for Ron DeSantis’ presidential race, you will not work for the Trump campaign or in the Trump White House.”
If Trump were to win the presidency again he would have significant power over the national Republican Party and could try to enforce the same blacklist there.
Trump operatives confirm that Trump is going to blacklist anyone who works for DeSantis. pic.twitter.com/wVXPY0Yite
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 26, 2023
A prominent conservative grassroots organizer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, warned against Trump’s “loyalty test,” saying, “It’s the American people who will ultimately decide who is the next president and many grassroots see through these desperate pleas for allegiance and instead wish there was a substantive debate about the future of our great country.”
The report also cited a former senior administration official who said, “I don’t think, just knowing him, that it’s a serious assertion.”
“This is just being done now to try to kill the momentum that DeSantis has – this doesn’t jive with his past behavior,” the official added.
The news comes after Trump attacked DeSantis during a campaign rally in Texas over the weekend.
A lengthy clip flagged by Mediaite showed the former president’s attacks not landing well with the crowd, who grew mostly silent. “Compared to how Trump’s crowd normally reacts to his bits, the reaction to his mocking DeSantis was practically dead air,” the report said.
Trump attacked DeSantis’ response to the pandemic, said that DeSantis was “not good” on crime, and mocked him with nicknames. Trump’s attacks come as an analysis from Fox News this week found that Trump attacks DeSantis four times more than he attacks President Joe Biden.
“When a man comes to me with tears in his eyes, he’s had almost nothing in the polls,” Trump claimed while referencing DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial run. “He’s at almost nothing, he’s got no cash.”
“And I said, I can’t give you an endorsement. There’s no way you can when you’re dead,” Trump claimed. “I said, let’s give it a shot, Ron. I endorsed him. He became like a rocket ship. Within one day the race was over.”
Trump’s guests also attacked DeSantis at the rally, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Mike Lindell.
Lindell called DeSantis “Trojan horse Ron DeSantis,” and then said that “the best thing he can do is endorse Donald Trump tomorrow morning.”
Trump attorney Christina Bobb also attacked DeSantis in Waco, saying that “if he actually does try to enter this race, [he] will come out a bloodied pulp.”