Donald Trump on Saturday said he wouldn’t use the nickname “Meatball Ron” to describe Ron DeSantis, a likely rival for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
In a Truth Social post, the former president said it would be “inappropriate” to use the word “‘meatball’ as a moniker, which has been described as referring to DeSantis’ appearance and carries connotations to his Italian lineage.
Trump has used the term in casual conversations while also labeling the Florida governor “Shutdown Ron,” a reference to restrictions the governor put in place at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times reported.
Trump announced his bid for a second term as president in November and has since launched multiple attacks on DeSantis, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious” and accusing him of playing games by not formally announcing any 2024 presidential ambitions.
Earlier this month, Trump also reposted a message on social media insinuating DeSantis groomed teenage girls. DeSantis responded by saying that he doesn’t “spend my time trying to smear other Republicans.”
“I will never call Ron DeSanctimonious ‘Meatball’ Ron, as the Fake News is insisting I will,” Trump wrote in Saturday’s early morning post leveling various attacks on DeSantis, “it would be totally inappropriate to use the word “meatball” as a moniker for Ron!”
Trump, who famously uses nicknames to describe his opponents, also referred to “Low Energy” Jeb Bush in his post, reprising the moniker he used to define the former Florida governor in the 2016 campaign for the Republican nomination.