Memo to Ron DeSantis: This ain’t rocket science!

AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

The Ron DeSantis campaign can’t seem to catch a break. From this writer's perspective, his supporters at Never Back Down (NBD), the super PAC supporting his candidacy, aren’t worthy of the extraordinarily smart and effective chief executive DeSantis has shown himself to be these past five years as Governor of Florida.


The latest setback came to light in a New York Times story yesterday about a leaked document from Never Back Down. The leaked documents reveal how NBD thinks DeSantis should approach the upcoming Fox News "debate" scheduled for August 23rd in Milwaukee.

In addition to attacking Joe Biden and the media, the strategy apparently is to defend Donald Trump while targeting political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy. Whoever came up with this strategy at NBD should be shown the door post-haste.

The leaked documents also show that DeSantis is being advised to distance himself only slightly from Trump while highlighting his own positive vision. You know, the vision thing.

First, let’s be clear. Leaked documents from a campaign or a super PAC supporting a candidate can sometimes present a skewed perspective and not necessarily reflect the candidate's own views or intentions. DeSantis seems much too smart to follow a debate strategy that includes defending one candidate who isn’t even there while bashing another candidate who nobody takes seriously as a 2024 contender.

Still, it provides a welcome opportunity to offer this bit of unsolicited advice as to what the Governor might want to say in next week's debate. And particularly what he should say about his only real opponent, Donald J. Trump.


DeSantis should point out that Trump, as president, wasn’t conservative enough, tactical enough, strategic enough, or disciplined enough to navigate the choppy waters of the Washington, DC, swamp. And there’s been no evidence since leaving the White House to demonstrate he would be any better the next time around.

That is the message DeSantis should deliver on that debate stage, and he should do it loud and clear — not in a complaining or sort of exasperated way, but in a straightforward, measured, and brutally candid way.

Memo to Ron DeSantis: This ain’t rocket science! And it ain't bean bag either. This is political hardball! And it's not time for small balls; it's time for big balls.

And what might the reaction be from Team Trump? Well, maybe this tweet offers us a clue:

Well, ok, let the debate begin. Because, in fact, federal tax rates have been "low" since George W. Bush left the White House in 2008. Sure, Trump lowered them further, but they were already low relative to where they were pre-Reagan.


Deregulation is nice, but it’s mostly meaningless because not only is the record on Trump's deregulation mixed, but many regulations are imposed at the state and local levels. As for "economic growth with no inflation," sorry, but with the exception of an uptick in 1990, we’ve had "no" or low "inflation" since Reagan was president.

By the way, inflation isn’t higher prices; inflation is a devaluation of the Dollar. The global lockdowns, which we can directly attribute to Trump, were what caused the so-called Bidenflation rather than a declining dollar.

Trump wiped out ISIS. Really? Trump allowed his Generals to do their job and, by extension, his job. Sorry, no brownie points for doing your job.

But what about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem? I'm all for it, but it's a symbolic gesture at best. The Abraham Accords? Yawn, none of those countries were at war, nor did they do anything to address the real problem of Iran.

Tariffs on China? You mean imposing a new sales tax on consumers in the United States who buy goods and services from China, which is to say small businesses, producers, and working families? No thanks!

Look, it could’ve been worse, but Trump’s presidency ended as an utter disaster. In his final year, he outsourced the most important decision he faced as president to a public health bureaucrat who had no sense of what it meant to protect jobs. That was Trump’s job, and he failed the country miserably by letting Fauci do it for him.


You need to go back to 1930 and Herbert Hoover’s failed presidency to find another president who did more damage to the United States economy than Trump did by allowing himself to be bullied into agreeing to lock down the largest and most productive economy on earth.

DeSantis’ message to the country on August 23rd in Wisconsin can’t be about a lingering affection for Trump or a showcase for rehearsed snarky one-liners about Vivek Ramaswamy or Chris Christie, as suggested in this outrageously stupid strategy memo. It needs to be about why he’s better than Trump.



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