Former Trump Official Says Ex-President’s ‘Name-Calling’ Pushed Him to DeSantis

A former member of the Trump administration blasted former President Donald Trump, saying that his brutal and abrasive approach to politics is off-putting to many voters.

Don Tapia, a businessman who briefly worked as the U.S. ambassador to Jamaica from 2019 to 2021, said that he plans to support Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, making him the latest in a number of former Trump administration officials who have left the former president prior to the 2024 contest.

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

In the 2016 and 2020 elections, Tapia donated six figures to Trump, and reportedly gave over $50,000 to DeSantis’ reelection bid. Tapia believed that much of Trump’s voter base will begin to move toward DeSantis if he announces a run for president, having grown weary of Trump.

DeSantis, however, has been publicly quiet about his presidential ambitions, but behind the scenes has reportedly been eyeing a summertime campaign launch. He has consistently polled higher than Trump in a hypothetical primary. 

Meanwhile, Trump has been repeatedly testing nicknames for his potential opponent, which include, “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and rumored to be toying with others such as “Meatball Ron,” though the latter has been outright denied by the former president.

“I don’t even think about it — A very unimportant subject to me!!!” Trump claimed last week. 

Trump was known for his belittling nicknames and repeated insults during his primary campaign style in 2016, as he defeated roughly 16 other major candidates. 

DeSantis, for his part, has often avoided questions about Trump, letting his record as Florida governor speak for itself, as he seeks to steer clear of an early fight with the former President.

Thus far, the only major Republican rival is former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who declared her bid last week. 

Several Trump administration veterans, such as former Attorney General William Barr and former national security adviser John Bolton, have been outspoken with their misgivings about their old boss after they left his administration.

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