Donald Trump fires back at GOP rivals hours after second debate

Donald Trump fires back at GOP rivals hours after second debate: Takes a pop at Chris Christie for dubbing him ‘Donald Duck’ and calls out Ron ‘DeSanctimonious’ for flip-flopping over his support for ex-President

  • In a series of comments following the second GOP primary debate, Donald Trump mocked his rivals including ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’
  • Trump also brushed off former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s attempts to nickname the former president ‘Donald Duck’ 

Donald Trump went on the attack against his GOP nominee rivals in the wake of the second Republican primary debate, that the former president did not attend. 

At the debate, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attempted to christen Trump ‘Donald Duck,’ an apparent joke about ex-commander-in-chief’s failure to attend debates. 

Trump brushed off that nickname in an interview with Fox Digital. ‘Anybody that would come up with that nickname shouldn’t be running for president,’ he said. 

In the same interview, Trump stressed that he felt it was more important for him to appear at an event with striking auto workers in Detroit, then to show-up at the debate in California. 

While over on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump took aim at Governor Ron DeSantis, using the moniker: ‘Ron DeSanctimonious’ as he posted a video showing DeSantis affording Trump fawning praise as he introduced him at a rally in Sunrise, Florida, in November 2019. 

Former President Donald Trump was the night’s winner, according to our poll, even though he didn’t attend the debate. Ron DeSantis was declared the most ‘competent’

Trump also brushed off former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s attempts to nickname the former president ‘Donald Duck’

At the event, Trump was ‘welcomed home to Florida’ by the governor. DeSantis highlighted Trump’s help in repairing military bases destroyed by a hurricane and other policies of the ill-fated administration. 

Edited out of the clip is the moment when Trump took the podium and said: ‘I always thought Ron was a little bit heavy’ but added that after seeing him topless he thought ‘this guy is strong.’

The New York Times noted in 2019 that Trump’s campaign said the then-president meant that he saw DeSantis with his jacket off. 

At Wednesday’s debate, DeSantis told the audience: ‘He should be here on this stage tonight. He owes it to you to defend his record.’ 

The Florida governor has been slow to attack Trump for most of the campaign. But as he’s struggled to make inroads against the former president, he’s started slowly sharpening his critiques of the man whose endorsement he once embraced. 

With his position in the race at risk of stalling, DeSantis faced pressure to have a standout and aggressive performance Wednesday.

DeSantis seemed eager to jump in on a question after Trump was criticized by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has made hammering Trump a focus of his campaign. DeSantis began speaking at the same time as another candidate and when finally given the floor, he used his answer to hit President Joe Biden and Trump in the same swipe, accusing them of lacking leadership.

DeSantis found an opportunity later in the debate to hit Trump on abortion, an area where he’s recently stepped up his attacks from the right.

DeSantis said Trump was wrong to blame the Republican Party’s lackluster performance in the 2022 midterm elections on the overturning of national abortion rights.

‘He should be here explaining his comments,’ DeSantis said. ‘I want him to look into the eyes and tell people who’ve been fighting this fight for a long time.’

In his interview with Fox Digital in the wake of the debate, Trump stressed that his lead among the Republican field is such, his presence in Detroit was far more important. 

‘I thought it was much more important, considering I have a 56-point lead, for me to be dealing with the UAW and the fact that the Biden Administration is going to destroy their jobs over the next two years by going all electric vehicle,’ he said. 

‘The crowd was incredible—unreal. I think we have great support to save the autoworker,’ he added. 

With less than four months until the Iowa caucuses officially jumpstart the GOP nomination process, the pressure is building on Trump’s rivals to show they can emerge as a genuine alternative. 

J.L. Partners polled 546 Republican viewers in the hour after the debate ended. The results carry a margin on error of 4.2 percentage points

The seven candidates onstage kept talking about what they would do when they become president. But there was little evidence any of them was trying to win that office.

The participants spent the two hours largely agreeing with each other on substance, but bickering over baroque bits of policy or history. Unless prompted, they didn’t bring up the man who is absolutely dominating the field, Trump.

The only exception was Christie, whose entire campaign is predicated on slamming the man whose two prior candidacies he supported. But even most of Christie’s barbs were about Trump’s debate dodging rather than trying to persuade Republican voters to end their love affair with the ex-president.

Still, he went further than just about anyone else in arguing against Trump, closing the debate by saying, ‘This man has not only divided our party, he’s divided families all over this country.’

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