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July 20, 2023

Challenging the Media Is a Must for Republicans

Ron DeSantis showed how it’s done in his latest interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Ron DeSantis is stuck in his 20s — in polling, that is. The 44-year-old Republican Florida governor is running to become the third-youngest president ever, which is a major contrast with the current oldest one. But to win the job, he’s going to have to first get by the also-ancient Donald Trump, who, if national polls bear any resemblance to reality, currently leads DeSantis by more than 30 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average.

To do that, DeSantis turned to CNN.

That’s a humorous way of saying that DeSantis branched out beyond interviews with Fox News, Tucker Carlson, and other more friendly media outlets to sit down with the man with the permanent scowl, Jake Tapper. After numerous headlines about the DeSantis campaign shuffling staff amidst underwhelming performance, the governor has to shake things up.

CNN’s job is to highlight three big issues Democrats think will hurt Republicans overall: Make DeSantis (and everyone else) answer for January 6 and Trump’s indictments, challenge him by dismissing the whole idea of anything being “woke,” and corner him on abortion and gender issues. Par for the Leftmedia course.

But if anyone knows anything about beating par, it’s Ron DeSantis, who met his future wife Casey over a bucket of balls at a driving range.

One of the Leftmedia’s favorite tactics is to drum up a supposedly outrageous issue with one Republican or random conservative, and then make every other Republican answer for it. Ask Senator Tommy Tuberville. Of course, January 6 was actually outrageous, and most Republicans have said so. (It’s equally outrageous that Trump’s about to be indicted for it.)

But Tapper kept the pressure on, demanding to know what DeSantis would say or do about the whole thing. Trump “could’ve come out more forcefully” to stop what CNN falsely interjects was an “insurrection on January 6, 2021.” However, “I hope he doesn’t get charged,” DeSantis added, noting that he also isn’t interested in making his own campaign about Trump or J6. “I don’t think it serves us good to have a presidential election focused on what happened four years ago in January.”

That’s a big contrast with Trump, who, understandably, wants to spend the campaign and a potential single future presidential term relitigating and taking vengeance for 2020. No other Republican seems particularly interested in that, so voters have a clear choice. Many want the vengeance Trump promises. Other want to move on.

On the subject of woke, once the Right started using that word to mock the Marxist social justice ideas and divisive identity politics of the Left, the Left decided it was all a fabricated bogeyman. CNN puts it in scare quotes, writing that DeSantis’s campaign is “built on a promise to rid so-called ‘wokeness’ from society.” Its story summarizing the interview makes no attempt to define the term, only quoting DeSantis saying, “Not everyone really knows what wokeness is.” Cherry-picking that quote only aids the dismissive leftist narrative.

As for abortion, the Left’s strategy is to rile up angry women by telling them their rights are being trampled and that Republicans will usher in a theocratic and dystopian era like “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Tapper wondered if DeSantis would nationalize the same six-week abortion ban he signed in Florida. DeSantis turned the tables by noting that it is Democrats who want to nationalize abortion.

I’m pro-life. I will be a pro-life president, and we will support pro-life policies. At the same time, I look at what’s going on in the Congress, and, you know, I don’t see them, you know, making very much headway. I think the danger from Congress is if we lose the election, they’re gonna try to nationalize abortion up until the moment of birth.

Tapper and his Democrat pals certainly hope suburban women hand the presidency back to Democrats like they did in 2020, but DeSantis objected to the premise: “I took a state that had been a one-point state and we won it by 20 percentage points,” he said. “Our bread and butter were people like suburban moms.” He listed important issues like schools, crime, and inflation as the reason why.

DeSantis also ably covered foreign policy, border security, and military readiness, as well as the way the Rainbow Mafia is upending society. In short, it was exactly the kind of stuff that political analyst Charles C.W. Cooke says “made him a star in the first place.”

But the point here isn’t to elevate DeSantis or diminish any other candidate. It’s to say that the race has a long way to go, and voters would do well to keep an eye on how each candidate handles the rigors and challenges of the race — especially when they face the “mainstream, nonpartisan media Democrat propagandists at CNN.

Bonus round: DeSantis’s recent interview with Tucker Carlson is also worth watching.

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