Trump campaign rips Ron DeSantis for not deciding 'how to pronounce his name'
As much as Donald Trump's critics mock him for harping on trivial, unimportant things, the president's adolescent-like name-calling can be effective with his MAGA base. Trump's names for political opponents are designed to diminish them — for example, "Sleepy Joe" for President Joe Biden, "Crooked Hillary" for former Secretary of State/ex-U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, "Crazy Bernie" for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), or "Pocahontas" for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
Trump has two names for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running against him in the 2024 GOP presidential primary: "Ron DeSanctimonious" and "Meatball Ron." And according to Axios, his campaign has found a new line of attack against DeSantis: the fact that his last name has been pronounced different ways.
Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, told Axios, "Ron DeSantis is a phony who can't decide how to pronounce his name. If you can't get your name right, how can you lead a country?"
Axios reporters Alex Thompson and Sophia Cai, in an article published on June 1, note that DeSantis' last name has been pronounced "Dee-Santis" or "Deh-Santis" by the Florida governor and members of his team.
Axios, in the article and a video posted on YouTube, is referring to English-language conversations. In Spanish-language media such as Telemundo and Univision, one is likely to hear DeSantis' last name pronounced "Day-Sahn-TEESE," with an emphasis on the last syllable.
DeSantis' great grandparents were from the south of Italy, where a "dee" pronunciation would be spelled "di."
"Some presidential candidates struggle to nail their message. Ron DeSantis is struggling to nail his name," Thompson and Sophia Cai note. "In the early days of his campaign, DeSantis has gone back and forth between pronouncing his name 'Dee-Santis' and 'Deh-Santis.'"
The reporters continue, "Why it matters: DeSantis' dissonance on how to say his name — for years an issue of confusion for his campaign teams — is a curiosity as many GOP leaders and donors wonder whether the Florida governor is ready for the scrutiny of a presidential campaign…. Early in his political career, DeSantis, 44, appeared to use 'Dee-Santis' more often — then began a slow and still-incomplete evolution to 'Deh-Santis.'"
Ron DeSantis' flip-flop on how to say his namewww.youtube.com
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