On Monday evening, reporter Tara Palmeri of Puck News (formerly of Politico) released a hit piece on Ron DeSantis, something that has become all the rage among the mainstream press. In it, she claimed that the Florida governor ran from her hard-hitting questions. That was then used as part of her evidentiary basis to claim that he’s a “paper tiger” who isn’t ready for “prime-time.”
in person, I immediately sensed a very different potential candidate: a guarded politician who had no interest in actually engaging with other humans, and was perhaps even a little scared of the spotlight. He had trouble making eye contact with people in the crowd.
— Tara Palmeri (@tarapalmeri) May 22, 2023
For context, this is the same reporter who proclaimed back in March via “sources” that DeSantis might be taking a weight-loss drug. So as you can see, she’s a super-serious reporter and not at all a left-wing attack dog.
But I digress. Am I supposed to believe that a politician’s fortitude is judged by their willingness to give in to the harassment of reporters in a stairwell? Because I’m pretty sure DeSantis has a track record a mile long of fighting the tough battles and getting actual legislation passed that adheres to the wants and needs of his constituents. I care much more about that than whether he ignores petulant reporters.
As is so often the case, though, Palmeri wasn’t telling the whole story of why DeSantis ignored her questions. The governor’s team just so happened to be recording, and they released the video that shows exactly what she was doing.
Here are some of @tarapalmeri’s truly hard-hitting questions:
“I am Italian American too. Does that matter to you? … Why are you against Disney characters? Which one is your favorite one?" https://t.co/ombghdpCzO pic.twitter.com/eZ5PbbEJfU
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 23, 2023
In other words, she wasn’t trying to ask DeSantis anything serious in a practical setting like a press conference (something he held just a few days ago). Instead, she was chasing him to his car trying to troll him over his fight with Disney. Is it any wonder he didn’t respond?
It gets better, though. When Palmeri was challenged on why she doesn’t hold Biden to the same standard of engagement, her response was to blame his supposed “stutter.”
Incredible https://t.co/ilHQ4JKe0i pic.twitter.com/IoYia9DWUV
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) May 23, 2023
No, Biden does not take more questions than DeSantis. That’s just factually incorrect, but even if he did, the president’s issues are not caused by a “stutter.” I’d challenge anyone to watch the following videos from Biden’s recent trip to Japan and to point out the stutter as opposed to him just being senile.
BIDEN: "I've spoken at length with President Loon of South Korea."
South Korea's president is Yoon Suk Yeol. pic.twitter.com/v9xj1EdpBI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 21, 2023
In all seriousness — what is Biden talking about? pic.twitter.com/YtfhVFxNHE
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 21, 2023
Palmeri knows exactly what she’s doing when she writes her tripe about DeSantis. This media narrative that he’s incapable of running a campaign after winning Florida, a previously purple state, by 20 points is the most contrived thing I’ve ever witnessed. It’s an attempt to destroy DeSantis before he gets off the ground, and it’s not going to work. I’m not saying he’ll be the 2024 nominee, but if he isn’t, it won’t be because he ignored hack reporters and they cried about it.
Lastly, just to illustrate my main complaint with Trump’s 2024 campaign, his war room account shared Palmeri’s claim in an attempt to attack DeSantis.
Team Trump is now attacking DeSantis for ignoring the fake news media.
What a time to be alive. pic.twitter.com/2liaihfzfr
— Han Shawnity 🇺🇸 (@HanShawnity) May 23, 2023
Here’s my thing. We either believe the mainstream press is fake news, or we don’t. We either believe they represent a dishonest institution that should not be enabled, or we don’t. This “one foot in, one foot out” game the Trump campaign is playing where they rail against fake news but then fluff the mainstream press to attack DeSantis needs to stop. I’m not saying they can’t go after the Florida governor on the merits. It is a primary after all. I’m simply suggesting they adhere to some basic standard of consistency. Is that too much to ask?
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