Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis railed against the media’s narratives against him as he continues to seek his party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential race.
During an interview on Tuesday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, DeSantis was asked about concerns that voters may view him as “less electable” than former President Trump based on his conservative record in the Sunshine State. DeSantis responded by saying “the proof is in the pudding.”
“I took a state that had been a one-point state, and we won it by 20 percentage points, 1.5 million votes,” DeSantis said. “Our bread and butter were people like suburban moms. We’re leading a big movement for parents rights, that the parents be involved in education, school choice- get the indoctrination out of schools. Of course, there’s bread and butter issues that matter too- inflation, more economic opportunity. Florida’s economy is ranked no. 1 of all 50 states. We’ve worked hard to make that happen.”
TEN MEDIA NARRATIVES WAGED AGAINST RON DESANTIS FROM ‘DON’T SAY GAY’ TO PUDDING
The GOP hopeful went on to call the political punditry about his campaign “wrong,” telling Tapper his legislative victories appeal to “huge majorities of the population” and that he’s only gotten so much attention because he had come off from his major victory in the 2022 midterm elections.
“So I was basically taking fire really non-stop since then because a lot of people view me as a threat,” DeSantis said. “I think the left views me as a threat because they think I’ll beat Biden and actually deliver on all this stuff. And then of course people that have their allegiances within the Republican side, you know, have gone after me. But the reality is, this is a state by state process. I’m not running a campaign to try to juice you know, whatever we are in the national polls. I mean, whatever we did in the CNN compared- whatever, it’s fine. I’m definitely doing better than ever.”
DESANTIS BECOMES FIRST TO ENTER SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY, DEFENDS TRUMP AGAINST ‘WEAPONIZED’ DOJ, FBI
He later told Tapper, “There is a narrative that- they’re almost trying a little too hard with this to try to say- because they’ve been saying that I’ve been doing poorly for my whole time as governor basically! This is always the case. During COVID, ‘Oh, you know, he has a state open. He’s gonna lose. Then he fought Disney. He’s gonna lose. And then this.’ … Once you get there, it never quite works out.”
DeSantis then recalled how Tapper moderated a 2018 gubernatorial debate against his Democratic rival Andrew Gillum and how CNN had just released a poll showing him down “14 or 15 points.”
TRUMP’S LEAD OVER DESANTIS, OTHER GOP 2024 CANDIDATES NARROWS IN KEY EARLY STATE: POLL
“Now, that was the narrative at the time, ‘he’s going down,'” DeSantis said. “So I think some of this is motivated reasoning, but I kind of get kick out of it when they say he didn’t fundraise well when I did more than Biden and Trump in the second quarter, and I’m just the governor.”
“So, I didn’t believe that poll was accurate, just for the record,” Tapper told DeSantis before quickly moving on.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The interview marked DeSantis’ first appearance as a presidential candidate on CNN, which offered hostile coverage towards the Florida governor, particularly over his handling of COVID.
Tapper himself was previously part of the anti-DeSantis pile-on as a promoter of conspiracy theorist Rebekah Jones, who falsely accused the governor’s administration of altering the state’s COVID data in order to rush reopenings.
The CNN anchor later hyped Jones’ now-failed congressional bid against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during the 2022 election cycle.