Even before the 2024 primary officially kicks off, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis are trading blows in attempts to out-MAGA each other, and the latest salvo features DeSantis calling out Donald Trump for being a loser and Trump hitting DeSantis for courting the anti-vax crowd. 

DeSantis has been taking shot after shot from Trump over trying to rewrite his record on COVID-19.

CNN: “Former President Donald Trump took aim at Ron DeSantis Saturday, claiming the Florida governor and his team are ‘trying to rewrite history’ regarding their Covid-19 pandemic response, and called the potential presidential run by his GOP rival ‘very disloyal.’”

CNN: “The former president also took aim at DeSantis’ shifting posture on vaccines, saying the Florida governor had ‘changed his tune a lot.’” 

Washington Post: “A review of DeSantis’s public positions on the vaccines shows a full reversal that has unfolded gradually since 2021…DeSantis began as a full-throated supporter of the vaccines before he started bashing them.”

HuffPost: “DeSantis, Who Once Praised Vaccines, Now Wants To Prosecute Those Who Pushed Them”

Now, DeSantis is hitting back against Trump’s attacks and subtly calling him a loser.

DeSantis: “If you take a crisis situation like COVID, the good thing about it is when you’re an elected executive, you have to make all kinds of decisions. You gotta steer that ship. And the good thing is that the people are able to render a judgment on that, whether they reelect you or not.”

It isn’t the first time DeSantis has waded into a shadow contest with Trump. Last week, DeSantis praised former candidate for RNC chair Harmeet Dhillon over Ronna McDaniel in a perceived slight to the former president.

Politico: “Trump has not officially taken sides in the tug-of-war between current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel and Harmeet Dhillon although some of his top aides such as Susie Wiles have been supportive of McDaniel. Dhillon told a POLITICO reporter in California — where the vote takes place today — that Trump’s team was ‘whipping votes’ for McDaniel… So then like a thunderbolt, DeSantis weighed in with praise for Dhillon telling Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative Turning Point USA who is supporting Dhillon, that ‘new blood’ and a ‘change’ was needed at the RNC.”

Trump and DeSantis aren’t the only 2024 hopefuls trading swipes as Republicans race to capture the MAGA base.

The Forward: “Pompeo accuses Haley of not being a ‘team player’ and being too focused on her political ambitions.”

Kristi Noem spokesperson: “Governor Noem was the only Governor in America on national television defending the Dobbs decision. Where was Governor DeSantis? Hiding behind a 15-week ban.”

Newsweek: “Nikki Haley took a swipe at former president Donald Trump as he hit the campaign trail in her home state of South Carolina on Saturday… Haley, who is expected to get her presidential campaign underway in the coming months, wrote on Twitter on Saturday: ‘It’s time for a new generation to lead.’”

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