Ron DeSantis is starting to bite back against former President Donald Trump, as the Florida Governor likely prepares to announce a run for president. DeSantis hopes to paint himself as a detail-oriented, no-nonsense, undistracted executive without the baggage — the sideshow? — that he implies Trump carries around.
Seeking to differentiate himself from the flame thrower of Mar-a-Lago, DeSantis told Piers Morgan in a Fox interview that “it’s not important for me to be fighting with people on social media,” seemingly a direct reference to Trump, who practices a vendetta-laced scorched earth style of social media rancor.
Trump, who is fond of tagging foes with demeaning nicknames (see: Elizabeth Warren, Pocahontas), has been calling DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious” since last year. In the Morgan interview, DeSantis dismisses the moniker, saying “I don’t know how to spell the ‘sanctimonious’ one.”
“I don’t really know what it means,” the governor says, breaking into laughter. “I kinda like it. It’s long it’s got a lot of vowels.” DeSantis appears unfazed by the name-calling. Even more he says he likes it.
BREAKING: Ron DeSantis essentially tells Piers Morgan that he can’t spell, he’s the same as Donald Trump except he would have fired Dr. Fauci, and he’d hire only other fascists to work in his government.— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) March 22, 2023
Ron DeSantis is just a younger version of Trump without the soon-to-be… pic.twitter.com/x7bQq6GFYL
DeSantis might be saying he doesn’t understand how the charge implicit in the nickname fits him, but he is surely familiar with the word.
Sanctimonious means “making a show of being morally superior to other people.” Importantly, for Trump’s purposes, it implies that the aforementioned show of moral superiority is superficial. Another definition? “Hypocritically holy.”
DeSantis, 44, is a Harvard-educated lawyer who earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University. Sanctimonious is a regular on SAT vocabulary word lists. Could he possibly not know what it means or how to spell it?
We asked ChatGPT: What percentage of Americans know what the word sanctimonious means?
Answer: “It’s difficult to determine the exact percentage of Americans who know what the word “sanctimonious” means, as there is no comprehensive data on this particular topic. However, according to a survey conducted by YouGov in 2019, only 24% of American adults were able to accurately define the word “sanctimonious.” This suggests that a relatively small proportion of the population is familiar with the term.”
Next question: What percentage of Yale graduates know what the word sanctimonious means?
Answer: “It’s reasonable to assume that a higher percentage of Yale graduates would be familiar with the term compared to the general population due to their level of education and exposure to a diverse range of vocabulary. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that not all Yale graduates will necessarily know the definition of the word, and there may be individual variations in their knowledge and familiarity with specific words.”
Last question: What are the chances a Yale grad with a law degree from Harvard wouldn’t know how to spell sanctimonious?
Answer: “It’s reasonable to assume that individuals who have completed both a law degree from Harvard and an undergraduate degree from Yale possess a high level of literacy and proficiency in spelling. Spelling ability can vary widely among individuals, regardless of their educational background or level of intelligence. However, given the rigorous academic standards of both Yale and Harvard, it’s likely that most graduates from these institutions possess a high level of literacy and proficiency in spelling. In general, misspelling the word “sanctimonious” would be considered an uncommon error among highly-educated individuals.”