Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis railed against the media’s narratives against him as he continues to seek his party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential race.
During an interview on Tuesday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, DeSantis was asked about concerns that voters may view him as “less electable” than former President Trump based on his conservative record in the Sunshine State. DeSantis responded by saying “the proof is in the pudding.”
“I took a state that had been a one-point state, and we won it by 20 percentage points, 1.5 million votes,” DeSantis said. “Our bread and butter were people like suburban moms. We’re leading a big movement for parents rights, that the parents be involved in education, school choice- get the indoctrination out of schools. Of course, there’s bread and butter issues that matter too- inflation, more economic opportunity. Florida’s economy is ranked no. 1 of all 50 states. We’ve worked hard to make that happen.”
He later told Tapper, “There is a narrative that- they’re almost trying a little too hard with this to try to say- because they’ve been saying that I’ve been doing poorly for my whole time as governor basically! This is always the case. During COVID, ‘Oh, you know, he has a state open. He’s gonna lose. Then he fought Disney. He’s gonna lose. And then this.’ … Once you get there, it never quite works out.”
The legacy media has long gone after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ahead of his presidential bid. (Election 2024 DeSantis)
DeSantis then recalled how Tapper moderated a 2018 gubernatorial debate against his Democratic rival Andrew Gillum and how CNN had just released a poll showing him down “14 or 15 points.”
The interview marked DeSantis’ first appearance as a presidential candidate on CNN, which offered hostile coverage towards the Florida governor, particularly over his handling of COVID.
Tapper himself was previously part of the anti-DeSantis pile-on as a promoter of conspiracy theorist Rebekah Jones, who falsely accused the governor’s administration of altering the state’s COVID data in order to rush reopenings.
The CNN anchor later hyped Jones’ now-failed congressional bid against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during the 2022 election cycle.