PALM BEACH, Florida — Former President Donald Trump thinks Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “walks like a duck” when he’s wearing high heel lifts inside his cowboy boots, and that a “really good debater” could force DeSantis to take off his shoes on live television to reveal the lifts inside them.
“Did you see him walk off the stage in the last debate? He could barely walk,” Trump said of DeSantis during a more than two-hour-long exclusive interview with Breitbart News last week at Mar-a-Lago. “I’m a little bit surprised he continues to do it because he had trouble as he walked off the stage in the last debate. Somebody is going to say to him ‘take off those shoes we want to see if they’re high heels.’ He’s going to have no choice but to do it if you had a really good debater. That’s what they’d do because he tries to pretend it doesn’t happen. He walks like a duck.”
DeSantis has come under scrutiny in recent months for allegedly wearing high-heel lifts inside his cowboy boots in an effort to boost his height, something he has denied. During an interview in October on the PBD podcast with businessman Patrick Bet-David, DeSantis denied wearing lifts in his footwear and claimed he is 5’11”—while also saying his boots were off the shelf Luccheses without lifts in them.
This clip of PBD putting Ron DeSantis on the spot about his high heel boots 😂 pic.twitter.com/m76YUYfAdm— LeftMap (@leftmapcs) October 31, 2023
The story has taken on a life of its own on social media and across news outlets, with places like Politico, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Barstool, and the Palm Beach Post among others dedicating investigative resources to speaking to experts about the truth of the matter.
Videos of DeSantis tripping off the stage at one of the debates have gone viral online, too:
Trump actually mocked DeSantis’s awkward walking during a November rally:
President Trump mocks Ron DeSanctimonious for stumbling on the debate stage in his high heels. pic.twitter.com/JJlvDU9HAc— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) November 11, 2023
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, another 2024 GOP presidential contender, made fun of DeSantis for it during an interview with Charlamagne Tha God on the Daily Show.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), who was criticized for getting the Senate dress code relaxed to accommodate his preference for shorts instead of suits, mocked DeSantis:
hoodie > 4" lifts cowboy boots pic.twitter.com/9xbLmDWER6— Senator John Fetterman (@SenFettermanPA) November 1, 2023
The narrative was brewing for months leading up to DeSantis getting asked about it during that podcast appearance:
Governor, if I may, what are those? pic.twitter.com/Zu3mQTd2RT— Alex Bruesewitz 🇺🇸 (@alexbruesewitz) March 1, 2023
Another takeaway from DeSantis’ snooze fest visit in New Hampshire is that his heels are getting taller.— Alex Bruesewitz 🇺🇸 (@alexbruesewitz) May 19, 2023
DeSantis should agree to wear flats at the debates or other GOP candidates should refuse to show up! pic.twitter.com/NmqlpN93Wc
DeSanctimonious' fundraising numbers comparison is as fake as his high heeled boots. Pres. Trump raised $28.3M in his first two quarters as an announced candidate, and $35M in this most-recent quarter.— Steven Cheung (@TheStevenCheung) July 6, 2023
The extremely high average donation the DeSanctus camp will show indicates… https://t.co/snghmF1ybm
Trump leads DeSantis significantly in primary and caucus polling, both nationally and in every state. DeSantis has fallen behind Haley in several polls too. The Iowa caucuses are less than two weeks away on Jan. 15, and the New Hampshire primary is eight days later on Jan. 23.