Trump Ridicules DeSantis as ‘Injured Avian Descending’ at Florida GOP Freedom Summit

Former President Donald Trump assigned yet another moniker to his adversary Ron DeSantis on Saturday, taunting the Florida governor as a “diminished descending avian” at a GOP gathering on their home turf.

Trump, aged 77, asserted credit for propelling the 45-year-old DeSantis into the limelight during his 2018 bid for the state’s top leadership position, alleging that the Navy sailor fervently sought his endorsement.

“I endorsed him and he became a rocket ship in 24 hours. … Now he’s like a wounded falling bird from the sky,” the 45th commander in chief taunted in a speech at the Florida Republican Party’s Freedom Summit.

Standing beneath graphics that read “Florida is Trump Country,” Trump reiterated his long-held belief that DeSantis is disloyal for daring to run against him for the nation’s highest office.

Trump pointed to polling results suggesting he is demolishing DeSantis, 45, in the 2024 race.

Since declaring his candidacy, the governor of Florida, often referred to as the Sunshine State, has consistently received low poll numbers. A recent survey shows him trailing Trump by a significant 27 percentage points, and he’s currently sharing second place with former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

Trump has persistently focused his attention on DeSantis, once considered his most formidable Republican rival, and has attached several derogatory nicknames to him, including “Ron DeSanctimonious” and “DeSaster.”

“We’re going to win the Florida primary for the third straight time, and we’re going to win the state by a landslide next November,” Trump told a boisterous crowd.

Earlier in the day, DeSantis, while addressing the audience, subtly criticized the former president without explicitly mentioning his name.