On Flight To Iowa, Trump Obsessed With DeSantis

Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip 8

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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OVER THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES — Former President Donald Trump continued to criticize Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with an array of different insults throughout his plane ride to Iowa and during his speech on the ground Monday.

This was Trump’s first trip to Iowa since launching his third presidential bid in November. He remains the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, national polling shows. However, DeSantis is polling right behind him and Trump clearly is not a fan of that.

On the way to and from Iowa, Trump constantly threw insults at DeSantis and during his speech on the ground, the former president compared DeSantis to Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. Trump also explained his nicknames for DeSantis.

(Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip)

Trump is reportedly considering calling DeSantis “Tiny D,” something he has not publicly called the Florida governor, who is likely to enter the 2024 presidential race. The Daily Caller asked Trump about the nickname during an interview with a few other reporters on his airplane. (RELATED: Trump Makes First Iowa Stop For 2024 Campaign, Announces Leadership Team)

“’Tiny D’ is good,” Trump told a small group of reporters on the way back to West Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump finished the interview by saying, “Remember this, if it weren’t for me, ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ would right now be working probably at a law firm or maybe a Pizza Hut, I don’t know.” (RELATED: Trump Says DeSantis Is ‘Probably’ His Biggest Challenger For 2024)

Earlier in the day, Trump told reporters the nickname “meatball Ron” is “too crude” to use to describe DeSantis.

“I don’t use that name. It’s used by other people. I don’t like that name, I think it’s too crude,” Trump said. (RELATED: Trump Says ‘Meatball Ron’ Is ‘Too Crude’ To Describe DeSantis)

DeSantis, whom Trump has repeatedly criticized, held an event in Davenport, Iowa, on Friday, where Trump also held his event Monday night. DeSantis is seen as Trump’s main rival, though the governor has not yet announced a run for president.

Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip

(Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip)

On the way to Iowa, Trump described why he gave DeSantis the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and said he regrets endorsing him for governor. (RELATED: Trump Explains Why He Gave DeSantis Nickname ‘Ron DeSanctimonious,’ Says He Regrets Endorsing Him For Governor)

“Well, I guess it’s referring to the fact that when you do something for somebody and they don’t reciprocate, I never liked that. And he was out of politics. He would have had to go to work for some law office or something. And he came to me, he asked for an endorsement. I said, ‘You are so dead right now. No endorsement’s gonna save you,’” Trump explained.

(Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip)

(Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip)

(Daily Caller:Henry Rodgers Photo:Trump Iowa Trip)

Trump also continued to mention that he received more votes in the state of Florida in 2016.

“I got 1.2 million votes more than DeSantis in Florida. Do you know that? Nobody ever wants to write that. You know, they say how well he did … But remember, I got 1.2 million votes more than Ron DeSanctimonious. That’s pretty good. Did you know that?” he said.

A spokesperson for DeSantis declined to comment.