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Why DeSantis Isn’t Invited to Trump’s Florida Rally: 5 Theories

Never again? Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump may be one of the most frequently snubbed men in history. Before his death, Senator John McCain let it be known that he didn’t want Trump at his funeral. Though the ex-president thought he had some kind of “special connection” with Queen Elizabeth II, he wasn’t invited to her funeral either. During his time in office, various world leaders dodged Trump’s greetings, and even his daughter Tiffany avoided a debate-night peck on the cheek.

But Trump can give as good as he gets in this department. He famously refused to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration. One time, he snubbed Tom Brady because his alleged friend snubbed him at a Patriots White House celebration. And now, Trump has been accused of snubbing Governor Ron DeSantis, his likely 2024 presidential rival, by leaving him off the guest list for an upcoming Florida rally with Senator Marco Rubio.

The Trump team has denied any intentional slight against the governor, yet it appears he still hasn’t been asked to join the November 6 MAGA rally in Miami. So what’s really going on here? I have some theories.


DeSantis didn’t ask to come.

This is pretty much the Trump team’s official story. Per CNN:

While the Trump team said it did not inform DeSantis of the November 6 rally ahead of time, a source close to Trump brushed off the notion that the event in the governor’s backyard was a snub, and said it was the result of a conversation with Rubio.

Maybe Trump and Rubio just didn’t think to include DeSantis, though there’s only one other prominent Republican incumbent running for statewide office in Florida. And two other just-announced Trump rallies in Iowa and Pennsylvania will feature both the GOP’s gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates.


DeSantis’s invitation got lost in the mail.

People in DeSantis’s orbit are reportedly furious that he hasn’t been invited, as Trump’s rally will suck up all the attention in Florida on the last weekend of the campaign. Per Politico:

“You’ve got the Sunday before Election Day totally hijacked by Trump parachuting in on Trump Force One taking up the whole day,” said a longtime Republican consultant who is close to the governor. “No Republican could go to a DeSantis event that day. None. And DeSantis won’t be here? This is big.” Another person who is influential in DeSantis’ world said it was “an elbow to Ron’s throat” and blamed Trump advisers.

But could this all be a misunderstanding? Trump has been warning us for years that you can’t trust the United States Postal Service — what if DeSantis’s invitation just hasn’t arrived yet? Maybe his aides should’ve considered that before running to Politico to blame Trump.


Trump rallies have a strict “No DeSantises” rule.

Though, much like the No Homers Club, you’re allowed to invite one. Maybe Trump thought about inviting the governor, but decided to bring rock bassist Derek DeSantis, Florida’s second most famous DeSantis, instead.


Trump is hoping that Tom Brady will drop by.

The Buccaneers quarterback/Trump son-in-law that got away is playing the L.A. Rams in Tampa on November 6. That’s only a 55 minute flight from Miami, so Brady could make the rally after party if he hurried — and Trump doesn’t need Brady’s new texting buddy ruining their reunion.


Trump really hates DeSantis.

Though Trump and DeSantis were once friendly, there have been quite a few signs that they’ve had a falling out recently. The governor declined to ask for Trump’s endorsement for his reelection campaign, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting him; he has a comfortable lead against Democrat Charlie Crist. DeSantis has refused to say that he won’t run for president in 2024 if Trump enters the race, and at this week’s gubernatorial debate he dodged the question when Crist asked him to pledge that he’ll serve a full four-year term if elected.

Earlier this year, Trump appeared to take a jab at DeSantis, saying politicians who won’t admit to getting their COVID booster (like the governor) are “gutless.” And in a Newsmax interview over the summer, the ex-president took credit for the governor’s rise, saying, “I was very responsible for him getting elected.”

The likeliest explanation for this rally debacle: Trump is pissed that DeSantis is threatening his big 2024 comeback, and he just wanted to show the governor who’s boss.

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Why DeSantis Isn’t Invited to Trump’s Rally: 5 Theories