Over the weekend, The New York Times claimed that Donald Trump was beta testing some of his patented childish nicknames for one of his likely 2024 rivals: Ron DeSantis. As you may recall, the first one he made public — “Ron DeSanctimonious” — was widely seen as not one of his better efforts. He could do better. Now maybe he has: The report said he was thinking of calling the Florida governor “Meatball Ron.” It’s mean, even for him, so much so that it upset one of his biggest cheerleaders, who’s disappointed the former president could stoop so low.
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.https://t.co/ghLP1Q1M7A
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) February 14, 2023
“I happen to like Meatballs,” tweeted Fox News host Mark Levin. “But this will turn off a lot of conservative voters. Not a wise move if true. I hope it’s not.”
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If there’s one thing Trump has never done it’s come up with insulting nicknames for fellow Republicans. Like calling Marco Rubio “Little Marco.” Or Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.” Or the racist name he awarded his former administration team member Elaine Chao (whose husband would still support him). He certainly didn’t get popular with GOP voters by being a schoolyard bully. In fact, going back to what worked before might be how he engineers a much-needed, much-feared comeback with conservative voters.
Trump has offered a vaguely worded denial that about the DeSantis nicknames, even while repeating his first poorly-received effort. But given how popular “Meatball Ron” was, even among Trump’s detractors, maybe he’ll bust out it at his next rambling rally.