On Wednesday, during a campaign rally in Hialeah, Florida, President Trump mocked his primary rivals and sought to cement his status as the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Trump has previously called on the Republican National Committee to stop holding debates due to his double-digit lead over the other Republican candidates.
The 45th president didn’t waste a lot of time on his primary rivals, who were participating in the third Republican debate in Miami at the same time as his rally, but he couldn’t resist taking a few jabs at them.
From The Hill:
“It’s time for the Republican establishment to stop wasting time and resources trying to push weak and ineffective RINOs and never-Trumpers that nobody wants and nobody is going to vote for,” Trump said, effectively calling for an end to future debates.
“I’m standing in front of tens of thousands of people right now…that’s a hell of a lot harder to do than a debate.” — President Trump in Hialeah, Florida
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) November 9, 2023
“Do you think we did the right thing by not participating?” he asked, drawing cheers from the crowd. “Somebody said … ‘He doesn’t have the courage to stand up.’ Well listen, I’m standing in front of tens of thousands of people right now, and it’s on television. That’s a hell of a lot harder to do than a debate.”
Trump touted his lead of roughly 60 percentage points in an average of primary polls, singling out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), his two closest competitors.
"So it’s 61% for your favorite president — me — and 10% for Ron DeSanctimonious, and 7% for 'Birdbrain,'" Donald Trump touts his lead over Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. pic.twitter.com/gZ1lP8CgZd
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) November 9, 2023
Trump boasted that he received more than 1 million more votes in 2020’s presidential election than DeSantis got in last year’s gubernatorial election, when turnout was also lower across the board.
And he mocked Haley, his former ambassador to the United Nations, referring to her as “Birdbrain” and invoking Haley’s 2021 comments that she would not run against Trump if he opted to seek another term.
Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump campaign adviser, called Wednesday night’s debate “a complete waste of time and money” and suggested DeSantis and Haley should consider dropping out or risk their political futures.
— Chris LaCivita (@LaCivitaC) November 9, 2023
“They are going nowhere, and at this point every dollar sent to their campaigns or their SuperPACs may as well be going directly to Joe Biden,” LaCivita said. “Donald J. Trump is going to be the next President of the United States. It’s up to DeSantis and Haley to determine if they want a political future…or not.”