It is always fascinating to see the fallout after the GOP debate.
We have reported that polls show Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as the clear winner of the debate. He remains the second most likely candidate for the GOP primary. Many people were not impressed with his performance. However, the fact that his approval rating has increased and his unfavorable rating has decreased may indicate that his campaign will gain real momentum after the debate.
DeSantis went over the post-debate interviews and I was struck by something he said. It is a statement that deserves some thought.
DeSantis said, “The thing with the debate is that, you know, I didn’t get hit so I wasn’t going to get involved in this scrum.” I knew those guys were arguing back and forth.
He continued, “I spent 100% of my free time speaking directly to Americans about our vision for reversing the decline of the United States, what we specifically need to do, and, most importantly, what I have already done to prove that I can achieve this on a national level.” “Of everyone on the stage, I am the only one who has actually delivered on everything that our voters are concerned about.”
“The thing about the debate is, you know, nobody hit me so I wasn’t gonna get involved in that scrum. I know those guys were going back and forth. What I did with 100% of my time was to speak directly to the American people about our vision to reverse the country’s decline, what… pic.twitter.com/EcVseFcHX0
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) August 25, 2023
Please don’t hit me.
It’s odd, considering DeSantis ranked first on the stage. You are a target if you poll higher than the rest of them. They will try to confront and take you down.
But nobody wanted to shoot at DeSantis, right?
DeSantis may have touched on the reason for this. Florida is proof that his leadership is outstanding, whether you vote for him. He was America’s favorite Governor before the election because of his ability not to blink when he faced the left, and also for turning his state into an influential conservative state.
DeSantis could have defended him by pointing to Florida as an example, and asking where the other candidates’ examples of their success at their jobs are hidden. Vivek Ramaswamy didn’t confront DeSantis about anything because he did not want to be compared with his apparent inexperience.
Chris Christie has nothing to gain by highlighting the contrast between his Republican image and that of a Democrat.
As we have previously reported, most candidates felt it was safest to go after Ramaswamy. And they did. Nikki Haley, who has worked in many different parts of the government, is a good example. But she never really attacked DeSantis.
There are many reasons why no one went after Florida’s Governor, but we can be sure that very few people who were on the stage were in a position to gain from it.
DeSantis will be happy with this, but I don’t think it will last. DeSantis will be tested by the public if he can hold his own against his opponents in a debate. If the GOP candidates continue to avoid the biggest fish, this will happen. It’s impossible that it won’t lead to comments about the lack of aggression from DeSantis’s voters, and suspicions they are afraid will grow.
DeSantis, as things stand, has more to gain by not being attacked than to lose. Someone will have to attack him at some point if they want to look strong. But if that happens, the strategy they use better be powerful enough to get people to ignore Florida’s successes.