In February, Ron DeSantis swore off all engagement with NBC Information and its associates over Andrea Mitchell’s protection of his administration’s racist schooling coverage. The Florida governor was flying excessive again then: He was just some months off a commanding midterm victory; he was being puffed up as a possible inheritor to Donald Trump’s MAGA throne; and his feud with the press was regarded by many Republicans as an indication of swagger slightly than a skinny cowl for his political deficiencies.
Oh, how occasions have modified! Apparently now not capable of afford turning down a nationwide platform, the spiraling 2024 hopeful sat down with NBC Information’ Dasha Burns Sunday. And whereas the interview served to showcase DeSantis’s disaster of charisma, it was additionally a marked shift within the marketing campaign’s media technique, which beforehand concerned icing out the mainstream press.
The spotlight of the interview, a part of which aired Monday on TODAY, was maybe his reluctant acknowledgement that Trump misplaced the 2020 election to Joe Biden—one thing he’d beforehand danced round to remain within the good graces of the MAGA voters who now regard him as a traitor to the previous president anyway. “In fact he misplaced,” DeSantis mentioned. “Joe Biden’s the president,” he added, although he continued to say—with out foundation—that the 2020 election was “not a good-run election.”
DeSantis additionally used the interview to double down on his excessive platform: He appeared to verify that he would, if elected, seek to enact a nationwide abortion ban, implying that these in favor of reproductive healthcare assist “post-birth abortion.” He repeated his disturbing name to make use of “deadly drive” towards migrants crossing the southern border. And he defended his administration’s new African American research curriculum requirement that Florida college students study how slaves “developed expertise, which, in some cases, may very well be utilized for his or her private profit.”
“Meaning they developed expertise despite slavery, not due to slavery. It was them exhibiting resourcefulness after which utilizing these expertise as soon as slavery ended,” DeSantis instructed Burns. “We’ve been concerned in schooling, not indoctrination,” he continued, taking credit score for the curriculum change whereas additionally seeming to attempt to distance himself from it personally. “These requirements weren’t political in any respect. The legislature didn’t dictate any of that. Governor’s workplace didn’t dictate something of that.”
The NBC look wasn’t the primary push by DeSantis to “reset” his marketing campaign. The governor beforehand granted an unique interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper final month—his first enterprise out of the right-wing media bubble, which was finally overshadowed by Trump’s announcement that he was a goal of Jack Smith’s January 6 investigation. DeSantis’s interview didn’t get buried within the information cycle this time round. However it appears simply as unlikely to meaningfully alter the state of the race. If something, it might solely reinforce the truth that the marketing campaign’s struggles usually are not merely a difficulty of dangerous technique however the candidates’ personal unchangeable flaws: “There isn’t just one drawback with the DeSantis marketing campaign,” as GOP strategist Terry Sullivan, who ran Marco Rubio’s 2016 bid, instructed Bloomberg not too long ago. “DeSantis was positioned higher than some other challenger,” Sullivan added. “Since Jan. 1, he has accomplished nothing to assist his place and repeatedly accomplished issues to harm it.”