Ex-Trump ambassador endorses DeSantis: ‘The name-calling has turned a lot of people off’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has notched the endorsement of a former U.S. ambassador in the Trump administration, who is arguing former President Trump’s “name calling” has turned voters away from the party’s standard-bearer.

Donald Tapia, who served as U.S. ambassador to Jamaica from 2019 to 2021, said he would support DeSantis over Trump if the Florida governor ran for president in 2024, according to Politico.

“The name-calling has turned a lot of people off,” Tapia said. “Let me tell you, we don’t like that.”

Tapia, a businessman from Arizona, was a strong financial backer of Trump in 2016 and 2020, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the former president over his two elections. 

But Tapia has switched his allegiance to DeSantis, who has yet to announce a campaign for the White House but is widely expected to declare his candidacy in the coming months. Trump, who launched his campaign right after the 2022 midterms, has taken the fight to DeSantis early.

In social media posts and public appearances, Trump has poked at DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” and bashing his record as Florida governor. 

“Florida was doing GREAT long before Ron DeSanctus got there,” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social site on Tuesday. “People are fleeing from New York to Florida (and other places) because of high TAXES and out of control CRIME, not because of Governor (thank you President Trump!) DeSanctimonious.”

“Rick Scott did great, and even Charlie Crist had very good numbers. SUNSHINE AND OCEAN, very alluring!!!” he added.

DeSantis has instead played coy with the former president, largely avoiding clashes with the Republican firebrand.

Instead, he is spending time touring the country before his book is expected to be released next week. He held events with law enforcement groups in New York and Pennsylvania this week.

Tags 2024 GOP presidential primary Donald Trump Rick Scott Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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