Trump calls DeSantis’ endorsement of anti-Trump Republican a ‘huge mistake’

  • Former President Trump said Florida Gov. DeSantis made a “mistake” by endorsing Joe O’Dea.
  • O’Dea once said he hoped Trump would not run for president in 2024.
  • Trump called O’Dea, a GOP Senate candidate in Colorado, a “RINO,” or a Republican in name.

Former President Donald Trump responded to reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was endorsing Republican anti-Trump candidate Joe O’Dea, taking to his Truth Social platform Sunday night to say it was “a big mistake.”

DeSantis recorded a robocall advertisement for O’Dea touting the candidate as the right choice for the Colorado Senate.

“America needs strong leadership and desperately. That’s why I’m supporting Joe O’Dea for US Senate. Colorado, please vote for Joe O’Dea,” DeSantis says in the recorded message O’Dea wrote on Twitter. “I’ve seen Joe from a distance. And I’m impressed.”

O’Dea, a center-right candidate, has voiced his disapproval of Trump and previously said he would not like to see Trump as president again.

“I think seeing a Biden-Trump rematch again in 2024 would tear the country apart,” O’Dea said on “The Ross Kaminsky Show” in August. “I think a lot of people are ready to move our country forward. So I wouldn’t support him running again.”

On Monday, Trump called O’Dea a “RINO,” or Republican in Name Only, and discouraged his supporters from voting for him in the general election.

“MAGA does not vote [sic] for stupid people with big mouths. Good luck Joe!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, referring to O’Dea.

O’Dea is currently competing to represent Colorado in Congress against incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet. Bennet currently leads by 7 percentage points, according to an Oct. 11 Marist College poll.

FiveThirtyEight predicts Bennett will win the Senate race in November.

O’Dea beat his primary opponent Ron Hanks, a pro-Trump candidate who was not endorsed by Trump, in June and has received the support of prominent Republican George W. Bush, who previously condemned the Jan. 6 riots.

A silent war has been brewing between DeSantis and Trump as speculation grows that both Republicans may run for president in 2024. DeSantis has become an increasingly popular option among Republicans, while Trump appears to be going after the Florida governor by insulting him behind closed doors.

Representatives for DeSantis, Trump and O’Dea did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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