It looks like Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are set for a 2024 showdown.
Polls show Trump and DeSantis lapping the rest of the field.
And now Donald Trump said two words about Ron DeSantis that led to a reaction no one ever expected.
In 2016, Trump dispatched his GOP rivals by tagging with them derisive nicknames that highlighted character traits that turned them into figures of ridicule and were a big turn off for voters.
“Low-energy Jeb” and “Crooked Hillary” were two of the nicknames Trump branded his rivals with to devastating effect.
The New York Times reports Trump is batting around the idea of using “Meatball Ron” for DeSantis to mock DeSantis’ Italian heritage and his weight.
But the nickname did not have the desired effect.
Left-wing late night comics dedicated parts of their monologues to praising the nickname and making fun of DeSanis.
“We learned from The New York Times over the weekend that Trump’s new nickname for Ron DeSantis is ‘Meatball Ron,’” ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel began.
“Trump is going to eat that meatball like a snack,” Kimmel added.
The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert jumped into the act as well.
“Ooh!” Colbert gushed.
“I do not like how much I love that! It’s so dumb and accurate,” Colbert added.
Colbert even turned the nickname into a musical number signing “Meatball Ron! He’s a walking, talking beef baton” to the tune of Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl.
The former president apparently now refers to Ron DeSantis as “Meatball Ron.” Unfortunately, it’s a really great nickname. #Colbert pic.twitter.com/HrvYQhnwLB
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) February 15, 2023
Liberal late night comics embracing the “Meatball Ron” nickname showed two things.
Number one, that they are scared DeSantis is the strongest GOP candidate for 2024.
Two, that these comics’ livelihoods depend on Donald Trump and like all Never-Trumpers – no matter how much they say they want Trump gone – they all need him to be the face of the GOP.
The nickname also backfired with conservatives as popular radio host Mark Levin panned the name.
“I happen to like Meatballs. But this will turn off a lot of conservative voters. Not a wise move if true. I hope it’s not,” Levin wrote on Twitter.
Sensing the backlash, Donald Trump disavowed the reporting.
“All of the Fake News is reporting that I spend large amounts of my time coming up with a good ‘nickname’ for Ron DeSanctimonious, who is obviously going to give the presidential ‘thing’ a shot,” Trump posted on Truth Social.
“They are all 100% wrong, I don’t even think about it — A very unimportant subject to me!!!” Trump concluded.
DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.