'Begged Me for an Endorsement': Trump Lays It on Bigly, Claims He Saved 'Dead' DeSantis' Career

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File

Love him or loathe him, there are givens about the 45th president of the United States that are hard for the objective among us to dispute.

Among them, when Donald J. Trump attacks his political opponents, he goes all in. Moreover, the more Trump feels threatened, the more personal his attacks become. Bigly.


Before we continue to Trump’s latest outburst against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, riddle me this:

If Trump is as confident about how he could “easily beat” DeSantis in the 2024 GOP primaries as he claims, why is he so fixated on bragging about how he singlehandedly rescued DeSantis’s “dead” political career ahead of the Sunshine State’s 2018 gubernatorial election? Seems to me anyone that confident wouldn’t waste so much time bashing someone he thinks he can summarily dismiss.

Then again, Trump’s gonna Trump. (See: 2016 GOP primaries, 16 GOP candidates not named Trump.)

Anyway, in Trump’s latest attempted beatdown of the one guy he obviously doesn’t want to face for the 2024 nomination, in an interview aired on Thursday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, Trump took his biggest — and most melodramatic — shot at his potential rival, again fixating on his 2018 endorsement of DeSantis in his primary race against then-Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Trump also claimed he “had to” help DeSantis in the general election against then-Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic Party’s nominee. It was classic Trump:

Ron DeSantis got elected because of me. You remember he had nothing. He was dead. He was leaving the race. He came over, and he begged me, begged me for an endorsement. He was getting ready to drop out. I gave him an endorsement, and as soon as I gave that endorsement, in fact, I said you’re going to have a hard time.

He was running against Adam Putnam, the commissioner of agriculture, who had a massive lead. He [Putnam] was running for eight years while he was commissioner. He had $40 million in cash. I believe it was forty, and he was up in the poll massively by, you know, tremendous, but not catchable, not even catchable.

[DeSantis] said if you endorse me, I’ll win. And there were tears coming down from his eyes. He said if you endorse me, I’ll win. I said you know what, Ron — Ron was one of 150 people that was on television. I mean, Jim Jordan was the best, and others were great. But he was one of 150, Hugh, that was on television, and he was supporting me on the impeachment hoax number one and a little bit on the impeachment hoax number two.

And I said, I don’t know Adam Putnam, so we’ll do it. So I end up doing it, and he wins. They say it was like a bomb went off, just a bomb just totally went off. From the moment I endorsed him, he went from losing by numbers that are not catchable to winning easily.


No commentary is necessary; I’ll just leave it open to interpretation.


Trump then told Hewitt how “he got” DeSantis past Andrew Gillum in the Florida general election:

Then I got him past the crackhead [Gillum] who was the hottest person in the entire Democrat Party at the time. You know, he slightly took a different position afterwards, but that’s all right. Him and Stacey Abrams were the two hottest politicians that, they were going to be the party of the future, the Democrats of the future.

And I got, I did two rallies, two or three rallies, average size like massive. They were massive. I said you’re going to win, Ron, and he said I don’t think so. Nobody thought he could win. First of all, I got him the nomination and purely got it. And people who know the campaign of Adam Putnam will tell you because they say everything collapsed the moment I pressed that trigger.

And then I got him into the general, and then they say will you run against the president like two years later. Will you run against the president, and he says I don’t want to talk about that? This is not something we’re talking about now. I said that’s not a very good answer.

I’ll leave that commentary for interpretation by others as well, but I do have a related rhetorical question:


Why would someone who insists he’s a “very stable genius” with a “very, very, big brain” have the need to constantly brag about himself?

Recent related RedState articles for your reading pleasure: 

Watch: Ron DeSantis Has Pitch-Perfect Response to Latest Round of Trump Criticisms

‘We’ll Handle That’: Trump’s Comments on Possible 2024 DeSantis Bid Suggest Business as Usual for The Donald

DeSantis Hits Trump Where He’s Weakest — Without Mentioning Trump at All

The Bottom Line

Perhaps I’m engaging in a bit of armchair psychoanalysis, but it’s been my experience in the business world, where I’ve worked with plenty of intelligent successful people, that those who are most competent, confident, and secure in themselves have always been among the least likely to incessantly brag about how great they are. You?


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