A politician considered the strongest potential challenger to Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination ate pudding with three fingers, it has been revealed.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who continues to explore a run for president, has been reported to be socially awkward on the GOP campaign trail.
DeSantis tends to brush off small talk obligations that come with his position, and has difficulty with basic social skills, a source close to him and his ex-staffers told The Daily Beast.
Conversations about DeSantis’ social interactions have apparently brought up unflattering stories from his past. Particularly around food.
A well-known story among those who know DeSantis is from his March 2019 plane ride from Tallahassee to Washington, DC. DeSantis devoured a chocolate pudding with three of his fingers, two sources told the media outlet. A DeSantis representative did not respond to a request for comment on the incident.
It is not the only account of its kind.
‘He would sit in meetings and eat in front of people, always like a starving animal who has never eaten before… getting shit everywhere,’ a former staffer for DeSantis told The Daily Beast.
DeSantis has gained a reputation for demanding privacy in public.
A manager at a restaurant in an early primary state that has been a campaign stop time and again said they agreed to DeSantis’ demands around restricting access.
‘If they came here, they would get the private dining room and it would be their rules and do what you like,’ the manager told the Daily Beast. ‘We’re not like the diner where you shake hands and make your way through.’
The tendency extends beyond dining, to the point that primary state players are making efforts to ‘DeSantis-proof’ events to attract the governor and his team, the outlet reported. They are known to not be very responsive.
Trump, who announced his 2024 presidential bid in November, thinks of DeSantis’ aloof persona as his Achilles heel should he enter the race for the Republican nomination.
By contrast, Trump secured the 2016 GOP nomination in large part due to his idiosyncratic personality on the reality TV show The Apprentice.
Trump is infamous in his own way when it comes to food. Namely, he is known to love McDonald’s and his typical order consisted of two Big Macs, two Filet-o-Fish sandwiches and a big, malted chocolate shake.
On his way to the key state of Iowa on Monday, Trump said ‘Ron DeSanctus’ would ‘probably’ be his biggest challenger for the Republican presidential nomination.
But ‘we’re not going to have much of a challenge’, Trump added.
DeSantis has thus far ignored Trump’s attacks.
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