Fox News’ second Republican primary debate was a major disaster. The moderators did a terrible job, and watching Nikki Haley fight Tim Scott all night long was as entertaining as watching paint dry.
Ilia Calderon, a left-wing Univision hack, was chosen as moderator by the RNC at the last minute. This decision caused a lot of problems. Her questions were objectively absurd. She was like an audition for a primetime MSNBC show. She spent the majority of her time fawning over the Mexican government and trying to paint Republicans as racists for wanting to resolve the border crisis.
She repeated the Kamala Harris hoax, that Florida’s black-history curriculum promotes slavery, claiming it was a net gain for those who were enslaved. This is simply not true. The line was meant to show the perseverance and strength of black Americans.
DeSantis was prepared and absolutely destroyed Calderon.
Ron DeSantis claps back at a moderator who says people are “still hurt” by Florida’s curriculum on black history:
“That’s a HOAX that was perpetrated by Kamala Harris!” pic.twitter.com/eX6nC0PBtd
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 28, 2023
CALDERON: “Slave developed skills that in some cases could be used for their own benefit.” You said that slaves developed skills despite slavery and not because of it, but many people are still hurt. This is personal for slaves. What is your message for them?
DESANTIS: So first of all, that’s a hoax that was perpetuated by Kamala Harris.
SCOTT: Take the line out. Just remove the line.
DESANTIS: Second, it was written by descendants of slaves. We need to stop these games because they are black historians who have done great work. Let’s get to the point. The education system in our country is declining because it focuses on indoctrination and denies parents’ rights. Florida is the rebirth of American education. US News and World Report has ranked us #1 in the country for education. We have three children: a six-year-old, a three-year-old, and a five-year-old.
It’s personal to us. We didn’t only talk about universal choice of school. We implemented universal school choice. We didn’t only talk about the Parents’ Bill of Rights. We passed the Parents’ Bill of Rights. We have eliminated Critical Race Theory and we now teach American Civics and the Constitution in our schools, just as President Reagan requested in his 1989 farewell speech. Florida shows how to do it. Our kids benefit from our standing with parents.
I don’t know what Tim Scott’s goal was in joining Calderon and his ridiculous and false framing. But it didn’t do much to improve the perception of how he performed at the debate. DeSantis, however, turned the situation around with great precision. DeSantis not only debunked the hoax but also was able to cite the actual author of the standard to dispel the racism argument before listing Florida’s educational achievements.
Calderon was a joke. I’ll probably write more about his performance in a future article. I don’t know what Fox News thought, and the moderators were nearly as bad.