Trump calls DeSantis endorsement of Joe O’Dea a ‘big mistake’

Former President Trump is calling Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) endorsement of Colorado GOP Senate nominee Joe O’Dea, who has repeatedly criticized Trump, “a big mistake.”

The O’Dea campaign on Sunday announced the endorsement from DeSantis, who is also rumored to be considering a 2024 presidential run.

“Hello this is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis,” the Florida governor says in the robocall.

“America needs strong leadership and desperately,” DeSantis continues. “That’s why I’m endorsing Joe O’Dea for U.S. Senate. Colorado, please vote for Joe O’Dea.

“I’ve watched Joe from a distance, and I’m impressed.”

“A BIG MISTAKE!” Trump wrote on Truth Social later Sunday.

The former president has increasingly criticized O’Dea, last week calling him “stupid” and a “RINO,” an acronym for “Republican in name only.”

Those attacks have angered Republicans who are hoping O’Dea can flip Colorado’s Senate seat and help the GOP regain the majority in the upper chamber.

Polls show O’Dea facing an uphill battle, and some in the party have expressed worry that Trump’s attacks have only worsened the nominee’s chances.

O’Dea has publicly voiced opposition to Trump running in 2024 and portrays himself as a moderate in his pursuit of unseating incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a contrast to most other Senate Republican nominees in battleground states who won their primaries after being endorsed by the former president.

O’Dea, who also breaks with many Republicans in supporting abortion in some cases, has said he would not support Trump if he runs in 2024 and he would actively campaign against the former president. 

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month, O’Dea named DeSantis as a potential candidate he would support for the nomination.

DeSantis’s endorsement of O’Dea, which was first reported by the Washington Examiner, is the governor’s latest support for GOP nominees across the country in this year’s midterm elections, increasing his national profile as speculation grows over his presidential aspirations.

Polls show Trump maintaining a significant lead among Republican voters if he mounts another White House bid, but DeSantis regularly ranks as the second top candidate.

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