March 26, 2023

Editor’s note: Dean Obeidallah, a former lawyer, is the host of the daily SiriusXM radio program “The Dean Obeidallah Show”. follow him @[email protected]. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. To see more reviews on CNN.


‘I pity the fool running against President Trump,’ failed GOP Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake tweeted this weekend as the former president kicked off his first presidential campaign event of 2024.

Fans of “Rocky III” will instantly recognize the iconic line Lake, an election-denying sidekick of Trump, borrowed as the same famous phrase uttered by James “Clubber” Lang, a vicious, hard-hitting boxer played in the 1982 film by M.T.

In a memorable scene from the film, before an impending fight with Rocky Balboa, Clubber Lang is asked by a reporter if he hates the eponymous boxing legend, played by Sylvester Stallone.

“No, I don’t hate Balboa. But I pity the fool,” Clubber Lang scolds before glaring menacingly directly into the camera.

It’s hard to know for sure who Lake is referring to, but I’m guessing it would be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who seems to be biding his time before a possible run for the White House. DeSantis appears — at least for now — to pose the biggest threat to Trump’s bid to repeat himself as the Republican Party’s presidential flag bearer.

In the past, Trump has mocked the Governor of Florida as “Ron DeSanctimonious”. The former president ruthlessly criticized DeSantis again on Saturday, first at a campaign rally in South Carolina and then in remarks to the media. On his campaign plane, Trump chastised DeSantis as “very disloyal” and accused him of “trying to rewrite history” in recent statements about Florida’s Covid-19 policy.

“I had governors who decided not to close anything and that was up to them,” Trump said. He also took aim at DeSantis’ shift in stance on vaccines, saying the Florida governor had “changed his tone a lot.”

DeSantis has, in effect, “changed his tone” on Covid-19.

In March 2020, in response to the rapid spread of the pandemic, the Governor of Florida issued an executive order closing bars and nightclubs and urging people to follow United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines limiting gatherings on the beaches to a maximum of 10 people.

But his recent remarks and statements have gone down sharply…

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