DeSantis’s Debate Playbook Leaked: Will He Use It?

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has spoken out about a leaked memo that surfaced, outlining a strategic plan purportedly intended for his use during the upcoming Republican primary debate next week. DeSantis denied ownership of the memo and said he was unfamiliar with its contents.

A memo, originally published on Axiom’s website by Never Back Down, the governor’s super PAC, outlined DeSantis’ objectives for the upcoming Republican National Committee’s debate on August 23. The memo garnered media attention despite being quickly removed from the site.

During an interview with Fox News Digital, DeSantis clarified that he did not author the memo and has not yet had a chance to examine it. Sources have indicated that the memo included instructions that outlined the following tactics:

  1. Critique Joe Biden and the media 3-5 times.
  2. Articulate GRD’s positive vision 2-3 times.
  3. Provide a counter to Vivek Ramaswamy’s remarks.
  4. Defend Donald Trump in absentia if faced with a Chris Christie challenge.

Additionally, the memo suggested that “GRD,” presumably standing for “Governor Ron DeSantis,” should exhibit traits of “likability” and “express emotion.”

DeSantis claims that he has faced more scrutiny than others in the past six to nine months. He believes that Biden, Harris, the media, the Left, and even fellow Republican contenders have all focused their attention on him. According to DeSantis, this is because they recognize the threat he poses. He added that this is a positive response. DeSantis said his team is ready to take the necessary steps to effectively communicate his message.

The Republican nomination is being sought by a number of candidates. Along with DeSantis, there are former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, former Texas Representative Will Hurd, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND), Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, political commentator Larry Elder, businessman Perry Johnson, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Burgum, Haley, and Scott have satisfied the debate qualifications and endorsed the RNC’s loyalty commitment, with Pence and Christie indicating their intent to do the same.

To secure a spot in the debate, candidates must register at least 1% in polling and receive a minimum of 40,000 individual campaign donations. The cutoff for meeting these requirements is Monday.