Republican Candidate Criticizes Trump’s Use of Bullying Tactics in Florida Election

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

In a recent post on Truth Social, Trump, the expected GOP nominee for the 2024 presidential race, reached out to fellow “great MAGA Republicans” and questioned if any of them were considering running against Representative Laurel Lee, a Florida Republican who currently represents the state’s 15th District. Lee, who previously held the position of Florida’s secretary of state during Governor Ron DeSantis’ term, had initially endorsed DeSantis’ presidential campaign in the spring of 2024. However, following DeSantis’ decision to suspend his bid for the presidency, she has since shifted her support to Trump.

The congresswoman’s campaign for reelection in 2024 is currently not being challenged by any GOP candidates. However, the former president has urged any Republicans aligned with his MAGA movement who may be interested in running against Lee to “PLEASE STEP FORWARD.” This call to action received pushback from a few conservatives who had also supported DeSantis’ presidential campaign against Trump.

“This is unacceptable and unnecessary,” Massie expressed on X, previously known as Twitter, on Monday afternoon. He emphasized that “@RepLaurelLee is a considerate conservative member of the judiciary committee. She initially endorsed DeSantis for President but shifted her support to Trump when DeSantis withdrew from the race. I believe more of my fellow colleagues should denounce these absurd tactics of bullying.”

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

Newsweek has sent an email requesting comments from both Trump’s campaign and Lee’s office.

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

“Answering the call and ready to serve, I am a proud MAGA Republican,” Toledo enthusiastically shared on X. Accompanying her words was a photo of her donning a cowboy hat adorned with the words “Trump 2020.”

Laura Loomer, a far-right activist and unsuccessful Republican congressional candidate in Florida, responded to Trump’s criticism of Lee on X. She shared in a post that she had been contacted by more than 22 Republican officials urging her to run against Laurel Lee.

“As you may already know, @RepLaurelLee’s district is actually quite close to the district where I campaigned for Congress. During my campaign, I was able to raise an impressive $3 million in funding. It’s worth mentioning that President Trump has shown his support for me, and that always goes a long way, doesn’t it? I’m curious to hear what all of you think about this.”

Former New York Representative George Santos, a strong supporter of Trump who was expelled from Congress in December, also expressed his opinion on Lee’s campaign. Writing on X, he stated, “I love Trump and I completely disagree with him on the Laurel Lee situation. Just my two cents…”

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