by Sharon Rondeau

(Mar. 1, 2023) — Close to midnight on Tuesday, 45th President and 2024 presidential candidate Donald J. Trump pledged to mete out “retribution” to members of the Club for Growth who he says are promoting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a 2024 presidential candidate and opponent.

He made the comment on his TruthSocial account, identifying “Failed former Congressman David McIntosh and his Globalist friends” as the culprits.

As Trump remarked recently, the Club for Growth endorsed Florida Sen. Rick Scott for re-election, which Trump saw as a negative. According to the organization, however, “The Club for Growth PAC endorsement is the gold standard in identifying limited-government, pro-growth economic conservative candidates for U.S. Congress. The men and women endorsed by the Club’s PAC in 2024 will push the U.S. Congress in a more economically conservative direction.”

It has also endorsed Indiana Congressman Jim Banks, who announced his bid for what will be an open Senate seat in 2024 due to the retirement of Sen. Mike Braun, who is running for Indiana governor.

“Failed former Congressman David McIntosh and his Globalist friends at Club for No Growth, who fought me all the way in 2016, and LOST, and then fought me again in 2020 Senate Races in Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, New Hampshire, plus more, and LOST AGAIN, are now threatening to spend money against me early because their new boy, Ron DeSanctus, the man who wants to cut Social Security and MediCare, has dropped so drastically in the Polls to me. No Growth Members know there will be RETRIBUTION!!!” Trump wrote Tuesday night after posting a link to a poll showing him leading DeSantis by significant double-digits in a recent poll conducted by Emerson College also highlighted by The Washington Examiner.

According to Wikipedia, McIntosh is a co-founder of The Federalist Society and the Club for Growth. Holding a JD from the University of Chicago Law School, McIntosh served in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations and later, as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee after his election to the U.S. House in 1994.

Of his “post-congressional career,” it states, “Since 2001, McIntosh has been a partner in the global law firm of Mayer Brown.[5] In 2009, he served as a political advisor to conservative lobby groups on Sonia Sotomayor‘s nomination to the Supreme Court.[18]

The same source reports:

In December 2014, McIntosh was named the head of the Club for Growth.[20] On November 7, 2020, on behalf of the Club for Growth, McIntosh was a signatory to a message communicated by Sen. Mike Lee to White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, expressing unequivocal support for Donald Trump following his loss in the 2020 election to Joe Biden and urging President Trump “to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at [his] disposal to restore Americans faith in our elections.”[21]

In recent weeks Trump has escalated attacks on DeSantis, who is serving his second term as Florida governor and not declared himself a 2024 presidential contender. Among his criticism is that he sees Fox News as promoting DeSantis and biased against him, allegedly influenced by the presence on the Board of Directors of former Congressman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

While in office, Ryan and Trump appeared to share a collegial relationship, but of late both have expressed dislike for one another.

Trump’s reference to DeSantis as “DeSanctus” appears to tie in with another term he has recently invoked for the governor, “DeSanctimonius.”

Trump has indicated he believes his 2018 endorsement of DeSantis during his first-term governor’s race propelled the former congressman into the state’s chief executive position.

In a tweet earlier Tuesday, he claimed “Marxist George Soros,” along with Ryan and former Florida Gov. and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, have thrown their support behind DeSantis. “Does that tell you anything?” he wrote. “Remeber, Ron fought hard to very unfairly cut Social Security and Medicare. Also, wanted to raise the age limit for Social Security to at least 70-years-old,” referring to an article published Monday in The Hill reporting, “Former GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush in a recent interview threw his support behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), arguing it’s time for ‘a generational change in our politics.’”

The article incorrectly reports that lacking a DeSantis presidential announcement, “Only former President Trump and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.S. Nikki Haley have officially launched White House bids,” as Vivek Ramaswamy also declared his candidacy last week on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Trump did not elaborate on what form the “retribution” might take.

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