Former President Donald Trump continues to rally support for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a man he once campaigned against, and will headline an event for him just days ahead of the midterm elections next month.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump applauded Rubio’s lead in the polls against Democratic Rep. Val Demings, who Trump called a “weak-on-crime Radical Left Impeacher.”
“Wow, Senator Marco Rubio has taken an 11-point lead in his run against a weak-on-crime Radical Left Impeacher, someone who is incapable of doing the job that needs to be done, since we announced the Big Rally for him on the following Sunday (November 6th) in Miami. He deserves to win, and win BIG,” the former president wrote. “See you at the Rally!!!”
HIALEAH, FL – APRIL 16: U.S. President Donald Trump on April 16, 2018 in Hialeah, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Demings, who has out raised Rubio in the contest, is looking to flip the crucial seat while Republicans are hoping they can secure it, as well as win other close contests to take a majority in the U.S. Senate.
Trump announced Wednesday that he will visit Miami to support Rubio, but made no mention of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, sparking some people in DeSantis’ camp to criticize the event.
“You’ve got the Sunday before Election Day totally hijacked by Trump parachuting in on Trump Force One taking up the whole day,” said “a longtime Republican consultant who is close to the governor,” Politico reported. “No Republican could go to a DeSantis event that day. None. And DeSantis won’t be here? This is big.”
Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, speaks in Hollywood, Florida, US, on Saturday, July 23, 2022. (Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The apparent snub at the Rubio event was unintentional, a Trump adviser told the outlet.
“This is an event President Trump is holding as part of a series of stops he is making for Republican Senate candidates,” the Trump adviser told the publication. “It came after he and Senator Rubio spoke directly.”
Trump and DeSantis could be opponents for the Republican presidential primary in 2024, although they have not publicly feuded.
DeSantis most recently appeared alongside New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin at a Get Out The Vote Rally in Hauppauge, New York Saturday.
HAUPPAUGE, NY – OCTOBER 29: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, alongside New York Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Rep. Lee Zeldin, right, on October 29, 2022 in Hauppauge, New York. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
The Florida governor encouraged voters back Zeldin over incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, as he claims Zeldin would be tougher on crime.
“The crime problem has been totally self-inflicted — you cut police budgets, you do things like eliminate cash bail and you have rogue prosecutors who won’t even enforce laws that they agree with — of course you’re going to have streets that are less safe,” DeSantis said, according to the New York Post.
Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are extremely popular among CPAC attendees. (Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
He added: “We need to focus more on supporting the rights of the victims of crime and not be so concerned with the rights of the criminal. Lee Zeldin will not coddle these people. He will hold them accountable and you will be safer as a result.
The U.S. Senate race in Florida is a high-stakes contest that could determine the balance of power in the chamber.
Neither Trump nor DeSantis has officially announced if they are seeking the presidency in 2024.