GOP Candidate in Florida Race Criticizes Trump’s ‘Absurd Bullying Techniques’

Kentucky Republican Representative Thomas Massie took to social media on Monday to criticize Donald Trump’s “ridiculous bullying tactics.” Massie’s remarks came after the former president targeted a fellow GOP lawmaker currently serving in Florida.

In a recent post on Truth Social, Trump, the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential race, posed a question to his followers. He asked if there were any exceptional MAGA Republicans who were considering running against Representative Laurel Lee, a Florida Republican representing the 15th District. Lee, who previously served as Florida’s secretary of state under Governor Ron DeSantis, initially endorsed DeSantis for the 2024 presidential campaign. However, her support has now shifted to Trump following DeSantis’ decision to suspend his presidential bid.

The congresswoman’s reelection campaign for 2024 is currently not being challenged by any GOP candidates. However, the former president encouraged Republicans aligned with his MAGA movement to come forward if they were interested in running against Lee, saying “PLEASE STEP FORWARD.” This statement received pushback from a few conservatives who also supported DeSantis’ presidential campaign against Trump.

“This is unhelpful and unwarranted,” Massie expressed on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Monday afternoon. He highlighted Representative Laurel Lee as a conservative and thoughtful member of the judiciary committee. Massie noted that Lee initially endorsed DeSantis for President but later switched to endorsing Trump when DeSantis dropped out of the race. He urged more of his colleagues to denounce such bullying tactics.

Representative Chip Roy, a Texas Republican who also supported DeSantis’ 2024 campaign, promptly replied to Massie’s statement by stating, “I am a co-sponsor.”

Newsweek has sent emails to both Trump’s campaign and Lee’s office for comment.

Jackie Toledo, a former Florida state lawmaker who lost in the GOP congressional primary to Lee in 2022, is among the notable Trump supporters who have expressed their potential interest in running against Lee.

Toledo expressed her enthusiasm for the MAGA movement by declaring herself a dedicated Republican ready to serve. She shared her message on X, accompanied by a photo of her proudly wearing a cowboy hat that boldly reads “Trump 2020.” #MAGA

In response to Trump’s criticism of Lee on X, Laura Loomer, a far-right activist and two-time unsuccessful Republican congressional candidate in Florida, took to social media to express her thoughts. In a post, she shared that she had received an overwhelming 22 phone calls from Republican officials urging her to run against Laurel Lee.

“As many of you may be aware, @RepLaurelLee’s district is in close proximity to the district where I campaigned for Congress. During my congressional campaign, I was able to raise an impressive $3 million. I am grateful for the support of President Trump, as it undoubtedly played a significant role in my campaign. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.”

Former New York Representative George Santos, who was expelled from Congress in December, expressed his thoughts on Lee’s campaign. As an avid Trump supporter, Santos disagreed with Trump’s stance on the Laurel Lee situation. In a post on X, Santos shared his perspective, stating, “Love Trump and think he’s dead wrong on the Laurel Lee situation. My two cents for what it’s worth…”

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