The political landscape is heating up in Florida, and tensions between key figures within the Republican Party are becoming increasingly evident. Roger Stone, a close confidante of former President Donald Trump, took to Twitter to lash out at Representative Matt Gaetz, warning him to stop supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his presidential aspirations.
The dispute began when Gaetz rejected the suggestion made by Trump adviser Bruce LeVell that DeSantis no longer had a promising political future after challenging Trump for the Republican nomination. Gaetz staunchly defended DeSantis, emphasizing his belief that DeSantis would return to Florida as a popular and successful governor with ample time to solidify his legacy in the state.
However, Stone accused Gaetz of creating a political “monster” in DeSantis. He criticized Gaetz for supporting DeSantis, whom he characterized as a “backstabbing weasel” and an “ingrate.” Stone further warned Gaetz that if he continued to support DeSantis, his own political future might be at risk.
Gaetz’s support for DeSantis has been notable, as he played a pivotal role in helping DeSantis secure Trump’s endorsement during the 2018 Florida gubernatorial campaign. Gaetz revealed that it was Trump’s endorsement, which he assisted in obtaining, that significantly boosted DeSantis’s polling numbers and ultimately contributed to his victory over Adam Putnam.
Gaetz also pointed out that he coached DeSantis during his debate performances, emphasizing DeSantis’s loyalty to Trump as a central theme. This loyalty to Trump was presented as a key factor in his success.
— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) September 23, 2023
“This is nonsense,” reacted Gaetz. “DeSantis will return to Florida as a popular, successful governor with two years of runway to cement a legacy of accomplishment in America’s third largest (and best) state.
“Wrong @MattGaetz,” wrote Stone. “You created this monster who has proven to be a backstabbing weasel and ingrate. He’s done and if you keep kissing his ass, so are you.”
While Gaetz has officially endorsed Trump for president, he previously expressed enthusiasm for the idea of a Trump-DeSantis presidential ticket. The ongoing rivalry and divisions within the Republican Party in Florida reflect the larger political landscape, where various factions vie for influence and power.