Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hasn’t announced a bid for the White House to challenge former President Donald Trump in 2024. But that hasn’t stopped Trump and his most loyal online supporters from tossing just about anything against the wall to see what sticks.
A year and a half out from the election, Trumpworld’s newest line of attack: Painting DeSantis as a “globalist” who is “endorsed” by liberal philanthropist George Soros.
The origin of the freshly minted Trumpworld attack began to percolate late last week after Soros spoke Thursday at the international Munich Security Conference.
“My hope for 2024 is that Trump and Governor DeSantis of Florida will slug it out for the Republican nomination. Trump has turned into a pitiful figure, continuing mourning his loss in 2020,” he said. “Big Republican donors are abandoning him in droves.”
Then, Soros, a popular bogeyman among those on the right, offered up a backward compliment for the Florida governor: “DeSantis is shrewd, ruthless, and ambitious. He is likely to be [the] Republican candidate. This could induce Trump, whose narcissism has turned into a disease, to run as a third-party candidate. That would lead to a Democratic landslide and force the Republican Party to reform itself.”
Those remarks—in which Soros never actually endorsed DeSantis—were quickly taken out of context by Trumpworld royalty and pro-Trump media alike.
“The Kiss of Death - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Endorsed by George Soros,” Kari Lake wrote on Twitter, sharing a link to an article from the far-right site The Gateway Pundit authored by site editor Joe Hoft which falsely claimed that “George Soros has endorsed DeSantis for 2024.”
“When the devil likes you, you might be doing something wrong,” The Gateway Pundit story, which has since gone viral in the right-wing media ecosystem, continued. “Gaining a Soros recommendation is not a good thing for DeSantis.”
As The Daily Beast previously reported, Lake is currently on a short-list as a potential 2024 Trump vice presidential contender.
“I get George Soros attacking President Trump, but praising DeSantis? Now that is interesting, don’t you think??” former Trump administration official turned right-wing radio host Sebastian Gorka further responded to Soros’ remarks. Gorka sparked anger among his MAGA followers, with the post gaining over 5,000 likes.
But Trump’s most loyal backers didn’t stop there.
The ultra-Trump Twitter account “il Donaldo Trumpo”—which has nearly a million followers on Twitter—wondered aloud, “AND WHY IS GEORGE SOROS SUPPORTING RON DESANTIS??”
“George Soros says that Trump has ‘turned into a pitiful figure’ and then goes on to compliment DeSantis and says he will be the Republican Nominee,” Trumpworld consultant Alex Bruesewitz added. “I support the guy who is hated by George Soros.” Founder of Students for Trump Ryan Fournier shared a similar message.
Since Soros’ remarks, DeSantis-aligned pundits have fired back.
“This ‘endorsement’ story is a simple IQ test,” DeSantisworld pundit David Reaboi wrote, while calling out Lake’s initial Twitter post. “Soros saying DeSantis is effective and smart is an attempt to get the Left he funds to focus on beating him. It’s a **warning** not an endorsement. FFS, how can some of you people be so dumb?”
“Soros called DeSantis ‘ruthless’ because, unlike Trump, he is actually willing and able to use power. He’s done more to wound Soros as the governor of Florida than Trump did as president of the US,” Chronicles Magazine’s Pedro Gonzalez continued.
More independent conservative voices shared a similar sentiment.
Wisconsin conservative talk-radio host Jay Weber wrote: “Soros didn’t endorse DeSantis. What a dipshit spin on his comments.”
This isn’t the first time DeSantis-world and Trumpworld have clashed on Twitter. Earlier this week, DeSantisworld figures—including former Newsmax host John Cardillo—accused Trumpworld of “photoshopping” pictures to give the false impression that Soros hangs out at parties with DeSantis supporters.