DeSantis Sustains Crushing Defeat Within State GOP as Miami GOP Chair and 'Influencers' Trash Trump

DeSantis Sustains Crushing Defeat Within State GOP as Miami GOP Chair and 'Influencers' Trash Trump

Is another reboot needed?

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
September 16, 2023

Volusia Republican Victor “Vic” Baker has coined the phrase that best describes the ongoing, bitter, and divisive political cage match between former President Donald Trump and Governor Ron DeSantis. Baker referred to the now-bitter rivalry as “King Don vs. Ron-Zilla that just destroys Tokyo.”

He’s right.

As Teflon “King Don” Trump continues to pound his chest as he surges in every single state and national public opinion polls– even after being indicted four times— “Ron-Zilla” DeSantis and his fledgling and amateurish social media campaign staff are breathing fire and have visibly entered into a scorched earth presidential campaign strategy against the former president.

The recent pivot to openly attack Trump and his surrogates like Reps. Matt Gaetz, Byron Donalds, and Cory Mills, was telegraphed months ago, and now as DeSantis’ electability is brought into question, and his unfavorability among Independent voters is raising eyebrows, DeSantis’s social media strategy to attack Trump by taking a deep dive into the political gutter appears to be falling on deaf ears and is outright failing.

DeSantis supporters have tried to label every single Trump supporter as a “cultist” who blindly follows the former president and is not smart enough to back anyone in the contested primary race other than Trump. They, including the controversial Christina Pushaw, have even begun parroting Progressive Democrats  and their  demonization of  "MAGA Republicans."

Apparently, being a "MAGA Republican" is not acceptable now that DeSantis is running for president. Pushaw herself along with her corral of  "X influencers" were all supportive of Trump less than a year ago.

According to some of the DeSantis' most devoted and vitriolic “influencers,” Trump is “ a slob,” “a felon,” and mentally ill.

“If anything Trump has become more toxic than ever which suburban women hate. So why the massive surge with a group Trump has always struggled with? Who knows, maybe suburban moms love felons? Of course the more reasonable explanation is that the polls are garbage,” said Bill Mitchell about the latest Fox Poll.

Tim Cool has continued to attack Trump’s appearance and age.

“Trump is fading fast. Just look at the eyes. DeSantis must make his age an issue in this election. I don’t care that boomers are sensitive about the subject of age - get over it. No one this old should be the chief executive a (sic) country and it’s time someone other than Nikki Haley said it,” said Cool.

This online behavior to dress down Trump in order to lift DeSantis appears to be hurting, not helping DeSantis, who is considered the future of the Republican Party.

Florida's Great Republican Divide

But just as DeSantis and Trump “X” men continue to battle it out on social media in their very unique echo chamber, Florida Republican Party officials have also been drawn into the great Trump vs. DeSantis divide.

The Republican Party of Florida loyalty oath vote that DeSantis was actively pushing members of the executive board to support, failed at the group’s quarterly meeting in Orlando.

Trump prevailed, and his influence within the state party couldn’t be stronger.

During the vote, conservative journalist Laura Loomer, who was the first individual to make voters and the Trump campaign aware of the Florida GOP's  rules change that would have kept Trump off the ballot,  organized and planned a large protest outside of the closed-door meeting.

Loomer and others chanted, "We Want Trump! We Want Trump!"

Miami-Dade County GOP chairman and State Rep. Alex Rizo became the latest DeSantis-supporting legislature to disparage the former President of the United States by referring to him as a “petulant child” who doesn’t want to play by the rules he and other DeSantis legislative loyalists put in place.

“The Republican Party needs to be bigger than this. It’s almost like were dealing with a petulant child: ‘I don’t like your game, so I’m going to take my ball and go home,’” Rizo said to The Messenger’s Marc Caputo. “These are our rules and if you want to play by our rules, then play. If you don’t want to play by our rules, find another game somewhere.”

In response to Rep. Rizo’s anti-Trump remarks, Lee County GOP Chairman Michael Thompson, a Trump supporter, said that the dig at Trump was straight out of the Democratic Party playbook.

Governor Ron DeSantis

“Attacking President Trump with personal insults because you can’t beat him politically is Democratic tactics on steroids. Republicans in Florida deserve better,” stated Thompson in a statement to The Floridian.

Rizo, who recently held one of the smallest, yet most expensive Lincoln Day dinners in recent history, may find himself facing a strong opposition to his leadership.

DeSantis was the keynote speaker at the annual dinner this past July, but only about 400 or so Republicans attended the event at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa in Aventura, Florida.

In 2022, 1250+ Republicans crammed into a ballroom at the Fountainbleu Hotel on Miami Beach to hear DeSantis speak at last year’s Lincoln Day event.

Veteran Republican operative Roger Stone, a staunch supporter of Trump, pointed to the large discrepancy in attendance between the two events.

What happened in one year that so few Republicans turned out?

After the event, Rizo authorized a payment of $25k to be made to cover DeSantis’s travel expenses (flight). DeSantis former campaign manager Generra Peck, who was recently fired, is said to have invoiced the Miami Republicans.

Several key Republican donors and local officials have expressed their disappointment in Rizo, his leadership, and are now saying that his “personal and selfish” actions to ingratiate himself to DeSantis have all but crippled the local GOP party.

The local party is said to be broke.

Could Trump drive down from Palm Beach later this year and bailout Miami Republicans by keynoting a special event to raise cash for the Miami Republican Party?

The latest Fox News poll shows that Trump has increased his lead over DeSantis 47 percentage points.

On September 27, the second Republican presidential debate of the 2024 cycle will take place at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

Trump will not be in attendance, but DeSantis will be.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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