Featured Image
 Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

PALM BEACH, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday released a statement mockingly congratulating Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, anticipated to be his toughest enemy in the fight for the 2024 presidential nomination, for officially announcing his candidacy.

“I’d like to personally congratulate ‘Rob’ DeSanctimonious on finally announcing that he will be entering the race for President of the United States,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social, evidently debuting an updated nickname for the Florida governor who he has persistently attacked ahead of his anticipated run for the presidency.

“Hopefully he will get the full experience of being attacked by the Marxists, Communists, and Radical Left Lunatics of our Country, without which he will never know the kind of job he is doing,” Trump continued. “These Lowlifes & Misfits are far worse than the leaders of hostile foreign countries. They must be soundly defeated in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Trump also joked about the technical glitches that plagued the first 20 minutes of DeSantis’ planned announcement, which took place during a Twitter Space hosted by Twitter owner Elon Musk.

“‘Rob,’ My Red Button is bigger, better, stronger, and is working (TRUTH!), yours does not! (per my conversation with Kim Jung Un, of North Korea, soon to become my friend!),” Trump said.

As LifeSiteNews previously reported, DeSantis formally announced his entrance into the 2024 presidential contest during an audio-only Twitter Spaces interview that began at about 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday. He filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) earlier in the day.

READ: DeSantis formally announces presidential run in Twitter Spaces interview with Elon Musk

The Twitter interview, attended by hundreds of thousands of listeners, got off to a bumpy start amid technical glitches apparently triggered by a strain on the servers. The Twitter Space itself crashed about 20 minutes in, forcing organizers to shut it down and start up a new one. Musk later said the problems could be traced to initially launching the space using his own Twitter account (which boasts over 140 million followers) as well as the fact that hundreds of thousands of listeners joined to hear the interview, causing a scalability issue.

After the glitches were resolved, DeSantis officially declared that he is “running for president of the United States to lead our Great American Comeback.” He then delivered remarks denouncing the Biden administration’s policies on issues ranging from COVID-19 response to immigration and vowed to lead America back into “normalcy” and “sanity.”

“We know our country is going in the wrong direction. We feel it in our bones,” he said. “Truth needs to be our foundation.”

The Florida governor, who won re-election last year by an historic 19-point margin, then fielded questions about a range of hot-button topics including the COVID-19 response, Disney, free speech, wokeness, and radical gender ideology. The interview did not touch on the governor’s recent moves to enact laws banning many abortions in the Sunshine State and never mentioned Trump.