Trump in Las Vegas speech tries to rally voters against DeSantis: 'He's highly overrated'

Former President Trump addressed a crowd in Nevada during a campaign stop on Saturday, once again using his platform to rail against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — who is seen as his biggest competition in the 2024 GOP race.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event, Saturday, July 8, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

"I'm not a big fan of his, and he's highly overrated. He's highly overrated," Trump told the crowd at a GOP volunteer event in Las Vegas. "Remember, he's the one that wanted to cut Social Security. He's the one that wanted to raise the minimum age, and he voted for it."

"That's not fair. And the one thing you have to remember is when a politician comes out with an initial plan and then they go into a corner because they're getting killed because he's getting killed," the former president said in his remarks, which lasted less than an hour. "Well, he doesn't have a personality either. That helps, right?"

Trump, who lost the state's support in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, acknowledged the difficulty he's had with Nevada voters.

"We've got a big job to do. This has been a tough state," he said during Saturday's event. "I really think it's a Republican state."

"This is the most important election in the history of our country," Trump added.

He also attacked the Florida governor for his stance on ethanol, echoing comments he made a day earlier during a stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Before the Las Vegas event, Trump claimed DeSantis was "desperately trying to get out of the 2024 race."

"Ron DeSanctimonious is desperately trying to get out of the presidential race while saving face for 2028 where he has been badly damaged," he posted on Truth Social, later adding, "Ron is just wasting time!"

The Real Clear Politics average of polls shows Trump currently with 52.4 percent support, while DeSantis trails with 21.5 percent support. While the former president cited his lack of personality and policy decisions, the Florida governor blamed the media for his sagging poll numbers.

"Well, I think if you look at people like the corporate media, who are they going after?" he said. "Who do they not want to be the nominee? They're going after me."

Trump has consistently argued that DeSantis' rise in the party and ultimately to the governor's mansion was due to his endorsement, and he didn't hold back this week.

"He was so far behind because, you know why? Because he was a lousy candidate, and I endorsed him, and he became like a rocket ship, and he ended up getting the nomination," Trump said in Iowa on Friday.

The Iowa GOP announced Saturday that the caucuses will be held on Jan. 15, 2024.

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