Ron DeSantis must defend Trump, show emotion in GOP debate, memos say
Memos circulated among advisers to Republican congressman and Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis reportedly say he must vigorously defend President Donald Trump and show emotion when debating his opponents during the GOP primary debate. The memos, obtained by Politico, are internal strategy documents that advise DeSantis on how to position himself in the Republican primary. They suggest that DeSantis must “vigorously defend” Trump and “embrace” the President’s “policies, achievements, and rhetoric.” In addition, the documents suggest that DeSantis should convey a “sense of urgency” and “emotional appeal” when discussing his plans for the state. The memos reflect the importance of Trump’s strong support for DeSantis in the primary. DeSantis has made Trump’s endorsement of him a cornerstone of his campaign, and the two appeared together at a rally in Tampa last month. Trump has said he will “be very involved” in the Florida gubernatorial election, and the memos suggest that DeSantis could use the President’s backing to his advantage in the debate. The advice in the memos is a reminder of the outsized influence Trump has on the Republican primary and the keys to success that any candidate seeking the GOP’s nomination must understand. While the documents suggest that DeSantis must respect Trump and embrace his policies, his ultimate success in the primary will depend on how well he can portray himself as a candidate who can lead Florida forward.