Home Latest News DeSantis opens up about leaked debate strategy memo, vows to punch back in first GOP showdown

DeSantis opens up about leaked debate strategy memo, vows to punch back in first GOP showdown


In a recent interview with Fox News, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to a leaked debate strategy memo from top campaign advisers, vowing to “punch back” during his first GOP presidential primary debate.

DeSantis, who announced his candidacy in April and is currently running among the field of top-tier Republican contenders, acknowledged the existence of the internal memo which featured a plan for him to tout his record as the Sunshine State’s governor and to make a series of bold, purported attacks against opponents on the debate stage.

The issue of DeSantis’ alleged “aggressive” tone has been debated among political circles since the memo was leaked last week.

“I’m certainly gonna fight back,” DeSantis said. “I think Donald Trump was a master of pushing back when he was in those debates so that’s something that I may be able to emulate.”

DeSantis noted that the competitive primary field “will be a knockout tournament” and that he plans to “preserve and advance a conservative vision” as he “execute[s] on promises made” while being governor. In regards to the upcoming debate, he urged fellow candidates to “come prepared” and suggested that all of his opponents should “be ready to fight.”

The Florida Governor also signaled that he would focus more on policy discussions over personal attacks, pointing to his record as “America’s most pro-Israel governor.” He also stressed the importance of substantive debates as a way to showcase the diversified views of the GOP and reach a much larger audience.

In the end, DeSantis concluded that it’s important for candidates to “prosecute the case for their candidacy” during the primary debates, while still being mindful of the other competing personalities. “We’re gonna turn off undecided voters if this becomes some kind of mud-slinging contest,” he warned.

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