The Trump-DeSantis feud over heeled boots spills into real life

Photo illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters

Photo illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters

The fight has been simmering for months, but what really set it off was a Super Bowl tweet.

Alex Bruesewitz, a 25-year-old Trump-aligned GOP consultant, started a flame war with DeSanti’s influencerverse when he tweeted an old photo that turned out to show Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis drinks with 18 year old high school girls under his teaching at Darlington School in Georgia at the age of 23.

In a since-deleted tweet, right-wing pundit and Army Green Beret veteran Jim Hanson defended the governor, arguing that “partying with 18-year-old hotties” made him like DeSantis more.

With tensions already simmering between Trump loyalists and a new brigade of defectors behind DeSantis, the online animosity finally spilled over into real life over the weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington.

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Notably, DeSantis himself was absent, ditching the lightly attended Trump-loving confab for a speech to a TV-ready packed crowd at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. But many of his supporters roamed the halls of CPAC in full force — so a clash between supporters of Ronald and Donald was almost inevitable.

When DeSantisworld expert John Cardillo was making his way through the media booths at CPAC, he found Bruesewitz.

Bruesewitz asked if Hanson, accompanied by his wife, was the “18-year-old hotties guy.” Cardillo interjected to warn Bruesewitz not to speak to Hanson like that in front of his wife.

Earlier online grudges quickly resurfaced, including Bruesewitz tweeting photos of the Florida governor’s footwear to speculate that DeSantis has worn thicker boots to appear taller.

“Do you want a picture of his boots?” Hanson said at the beginning of a video from the fight. “Do you understand what a Cuban boot is?”

“That’s weird, dude,” Cardillo then interjected. “He doesn’t know what boots are, we found out.”

In the video, Cardillo then accused Bruesewitz of “stalking” and “harassing” him, before Hanson declared, “You got nothing, dude?”

That predictably opened a whole separate can of worms, with Hanson telling the Trump consultant that he’s not “interesting” or “funny.”

“Useful child soldier,” Cardillo chimed in, taking further aim at Bruesewitz.

As for Hanson, he declined to comment on the story. “I don’t argue within the party about the enemy media,” he told The Daily Beast when reached for comment. Likewise, Cardillo declined to comment on the record.

Bruesewitz’s lawyer, Joseph McBride— who was present during the hostile exchange at CPAC — claimed in a phone interview that his client began the interaction cordially before Cardillo, in a “very juvenile-like way, started coming on to Alex, and then the other guy joined in.”

“It’s all fun and games, it’s like people trade barbs, of course you have people on the Trump side and you have people who are on the DeSantis side — healthy competition, nothing wrong with that,” McBride added.

As Trump and DeSantis approach open warfare in the 2024 GOP primaries, their camps have been searching for useful lines of attack on issues like Social Security and COVID policies.

But the explosion between their respective loyalists over tweets and boots at CPAC portends a battle that could become even more absurd and trivial than anyone thought possible.

Private conversations within Trumpworld about DeSantis suggest plenty of new lows are still possible as the campaign heats up.

For starters, Trump confidantes have tried to quantify DeSantis’ true body mass index — the same metric Trump was obsessed with during his time in the White House. A reliable height and weight for Florida’s governor has so far eluded MAGA nooses.

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DeSantis is listed as 5’9”. Florida’s governor was recently photographed standing next to golf legend Tiger Woods, who is known to be 6’1″, and Rory McIlroy, who stands at 5’9″. In the photo, DeSantis appeared to be as tall as Woods This has led to some speculation that DeSantis, on top of heeled boots, may be using height inserts inside his boots.

The fixation on boots is another feature of the Trump-DeSantis feud that spilled over from the online meme wars.

Inside Trump’s inner circle, those close to the former president have laughed at a picture of DeSantis wearing tall white rubber boots while touring the damage from Hurricane Ian last year. Since Trump’s trip to East Palestine, Ohio — where Trump wore a Timberland-style boot — those in his inner circle have concluded that their boss has better taste in working men’s footwear.

“Donald Trump wore work boots. DeSantis was wearing Dallas Cowboy cheerleader boots,” a source close to Trump boasted to The Daily Beast, while also saying that “Donald Trump responds to disasters. Ron DeSantis hesitates.”

Further, Trumpworld’s fixation with DeSantis’ boots drives home, as New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman noticed Monday night, Trump staffers have begun flagging mentions of the topic — even when it means sharing an article from a liberal site like Jezebel.

Those in DeSantis’ corner say the Florida governor is wearing a “Cuban heel” boot — which, of course, is designed to have an extended heel. They also argue that Ron’s fashion acumen extends to tailoring his suits — an art form that Trump has his own battles.

The entire feud — which revolves around waists, boot heels and height — is just the latest sign of a brewing Trump-DeSantis war. But the feud, which went from online to real life, though it looked more like a grade school argument than a fist fight, is the latest escalation.

“Why isn’t DeSantis investigating these people?” a veteran Republican strategist told The Daily Beast, referring to Cardillo and Hanson.

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Another GOP strategist said Bruesewitz had set himself an odd target given both his age and the reputation of his consulting firm, which has business on both sides of the MAGA and GOP establishment divide.

“In a short period of time, Alex has built a strong business and become influential with MAGA warriors and GOP leadership,” the consultant said, requesting anonymity to avoid implicating clients in the matter.

“The 50-year-old guys like Cardillo in this video are giving off massive Lincoln Project vibes,” added this consultant, referring to the political firm NeverTrump — a particularly stinging insult in today’s GOP.

A source who has spoken with Trump told The Daily Beast that in recent weeks, the former president has privately weighed the idea of ​​casting the Florida governor as “DeSoros,” one of a number of nicknames floated behind the scenes.

So has Trump reportedly tried out the nickname “Tiny D.” Although “Tiny D” has not caught on among the MAGA faithful, attempts to paint DeSantis as Soros’ tool, with Trump allies—including former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka—reinforcing such a line of attack.

“There is no other candidate in history who has the energy and stamina that President Trump has, and he will outwork and outlast Joe Biden to save America,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told The Daily Beast when he was asked about “DeSoros”. nickname and Trump’s inner circle investigating DeSantis’ BMI.

While many GOP voters appear to be perfectly fine with a Trump-DeSantis feud — with the political chips falling as they may — this latest CPAC flare-up indicates just how personal the feelings are between the two sides’ foot soldiers.

As the longtime GOP strategist said, “What a piece of trash.”

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