Jason Miller Excoriates 'Horrid' DeSantis Debate Performance

Jason Miller Excoriates 'Horrid' DeSantis Debate Performance

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
August 24, 2023

While the Republican primary debate in Milwaukee saw plenty of good points made by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Vivek Ramaswamy, some feel as though former President Donald Trump won the night despite not being present, instead doing an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. 

The Floridian caught up with Trump strategist Jason Miller following the debate, affirming the perception and saying Ramaswamy "leapfrogged" over Gov. DeSantis.

"So big winner, not a big surprise, President Trump," said Miller, highlighting the massive number of viewers watching Trump's interview with Tucker.

"Rather than be in the pig pile of all the other candidates, we are now at 91 million people who have watched the Tucker interview. It is going to be over 100 million by the time we wake up tomorrow, probably even before we go to bed. That means more than ten times the amount of people who watched this on cable television tonight will have seen President Trump's interview," Miller continued, adding that he "looks like a genius."

Moreover, he said the other candidates were "trying to emulate his policies."

Referring to Gov. DeSantis, or "DeSanctus" or "DeSanctimonious," as Miller called him, he chastised DeSantis' hesitancy to raise his hand to answer specific questions (most notably the question of whether or not he would support Trump if he wins the nomination).

Trump's communication director Steven Cheung interpreted this hesitancy as only signaling that DeSantis "is not leading from the front. He was looking around the stage for other people’s answers."

Miller did not mince words when he called DeSantis' performance "horrid" and pronounced his campaign "dead," as his polling numbers "have been dropping like a rock" as Ramaswamy seemed poised to overtake DeSantis.

"Here's the thing: I knew President Trump was not going to be here this evening, I did not know that Ron DeSanctus was going to skip the debate as well. I thought he had a horrid performance, I think basically his campaign is dead now. We saw in real-time Vivek Ramaswamy leapfrog Ron DeSantis. Ron DeSantis's numbers have been dropping like a rock. Now he is on his fourth, fifth, maybe sixth reboot, I've kind of lost track on many of them. But he had to do something to reverse the trajectory. He didn't. Ramaswamy, I think, had a breakout night. I think he did very well, he leapfrogged over DeSantis. I think DeSantis is in real trouble here," said Miller.

The Floridian's Javier Manjarres felt as though DeSantis "dodged a couple of questions" and simply agreed when they came back to him, which Miller interpreted as DeSantis "being uncomfortable on that stage" and seemed to suggest press conferences as Governor have made him complacent, because "in Tallahassee, he can stand behind a podium, yell at reporters, turn around, and walk away."

"I think DeSantis was uncomfortable being on that stage. I don't think this is a good environment for him, I don't think he is used to having to deal with other people that are positioned as equals to him. In Tallahassee, he can stand behind a podium, yell at reporters, turn around, and walk away. You can't do that when you're on a debate stage with, again, single digits, probably, for millions who are watching, not like the hundred million watching President Trump, which is a big difference."

Finally, Miller suggested DeSantis would have performed better had he read the debate prep plan laid out by his political action committee (PAC) Never Back Down.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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