OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was accused by a left-leaning reporter of dodging her questions on Monday but his team has since released a video that directly contradicted her claims.
Tara Palmeri of Puck News, formerly with Politico, released a piece under the headline “Ronny on the Run” where she claimed he allegedly avoided her hard-hitting questions, leading her to conclude he is a “paper tiger” who is not yet ready for “prime-time.”
“It was my first personal observation of what DeSantis’s critics mean when they call him a paper tiger—a superficially perfect test-tube Republican candidate who, on closer inspection, is probably not ready for prime-time,” Palmeri noted on Twitter in a post containing a link to her report.
“[I]n 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,” she added.
Red State noted: “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.”
After she posted her story, DeSantis’ team — which was monitoring the exchange — released the video showing the “hard-hitting” questions she was asking.
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
“I am Italian American too. Does that matter to you? … Why are you against Disney characters? Which one is your favorite one?” the DeSantis War Room tweet added, partially paraphrasing Palmieri’s questions.
Interestingly, DeSantis is known for directly taking on more serious questions from reporters and does not have a reputation for backing down.
Bonchie at Red State opined regarding DeSantis’ prowess in engaging with the media:
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.
The Florida governor has yet to declare his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, but reports last week claimed he is expected to jump into the race this week after the state’s legislative session ends.
In addition, a new report has shed some light on who he wants as his running mate.
DeSantis “is determined to recruit Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders as his running mate before making a formal announcement on his 2024 presidential bid, sources close to his campaign” exclusively told RadarOnline.com.
The outlet noted further that “insiders claim” DeSantis made his decision to go after former President Donald Trump’s press secretary after she became the first female governor of the red state in 2022, succeeding Asa Hutchison, who has also jumped into the 2024 GOP primaries.
“He really only has one strong choice: Sarah,” the source told the outlet. “He is desperate to lock up his running mate before he makes his formal announcement. He would announce his VP candidate very soon afterward.”
“He thinks it will be a one-two punch, and Republicans will be hard-pressed to look past a united front, especially if it is him and Sarah,” the insider noted further.
The RadarOnline report comes on the heels of a previous story last week that said DeSantis made another move that strongly supports the contention that he’s preparing to announce his presidential run.
“DeSantis severed his connection to his long-standing state political committee and the tens of millions of dollars that it now controls, a step he needs to take ahead of a presidential campaign,” the outlet said.