TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — In a surprise to Ron DeSantis and his political campaign, the New York Times reports that a memo, believed to be written by super PAC Never Back Down, was intended to provide DeSantis with tips on how to command attention at the first Republican primary debate next week.
“ATTACKS FROM ALL SIDES”
“This was not a campaign memo and we were not aware of it prior to the article,” DeSantis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo said. “We are well accustomed to the attacks from all sides as the media and other candidates realize Ron DeSantis is the strongest candidate best positioned to take down Joe Biden.”
The document, originally posted to the website of Axiom, a firm owned by Never Back Down consultant and Republican strategist Jeff Roe, contained internal polling from New Hampshire, an Iowa caucus assessment and notes on how each candidate might try to attack DeSantis.
“I’m at a loss,” one person told CNN. “I don’t really know what the strategy was. Whoever thought it was necessary to put this out there, that’s not the super PACs job.”
So what is DeSantis doing to prepare for next week’s debate?
DeSantis is the sixth Republican presidential candidate to hire Brett O’Donnell – considered the best media and debate coach on either side of the aisle – to help him prepare for the debate. DeSantis told The Florida Standard in an exclusive interview that he sees the debate as an opportunity to get his message out to people without the filter of the mainstream media.
“From the time I won reelection in Florida, I had the bull’s eye on me,” DeSantis told The Florida Standard’s Editor in Chief Will Witt. “I think I’m the only person in the race that can say that there’s been more money spent attacking me than has been spent against both Biden and Trump combined.”
“I have a vision to reverse this country’s decline that our voters agree with and it’s gonna be compelling,” DeSantis added. “So bring it on and we’ll get it done.”