Ron DeSantis pushed back on claims that his campaign was in trouble, instead saying he had “corrected course” after finding out what worked best for his efforts to become the GOP presidential nominee.
He told Fox News in an interview Monday night that it was “nonsense” for Republican political operatives to call his campaign a failure when there are still seven months to go until the primary election begins.
In a wide-ranging interview, the runner-up candidate was asked about hot topics such as Florida’s Black History program and whether he would continue to financially support the war in Ukraine by providing a stream of weapons .
Questions about a campaign reset follow reports that several staffers have been fired from DeSantis’ campaign as they also rebrand the Florida governor as the ‘skinner, meaner insurgent’ candidate in the race for the presidential primaries.
It also comes amid staggering polls that put DeSantis a distant second behind Donald Trump, who said it would be ‘the biggest comeback in American history’ if the Florida governor catches him.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sat down for an extensive interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier on Monday night, where he railed against those who say his campaign is failing – insisting he just ” correct the course”
“Everything you do has got to have a payback,” DeSantis explained to Fox host Bret Baier in a high-profile interview recorded during a campaign swing in New Hampshire.
“If there’s no value in that then I get changes and that’s just the reality of what you have to do,” he added. “So I am not a political agent. I am not a campaign professional. You set the vision and you execute it. And if it is not executed, you only have to correct the trajectory.
The governor said that because his campaign hires people internally, they might end up spending more than other candidates, but he says he “will end up making money doing it that way.”
Over the past two weeks, DeSantis has received a barrage of criticism over Florida’s new black history curriculum born out of the banning of controversial critical race theory teachings.
Even GOP members criticized DeSantis for the new classes and said he should have vetoed the effort.
But DeSantis isn’t buying it, saying establishment Republicans are too weak and take the “bait” too easily from Democrats trying to split the party.
The 2024 nominee also said his fellow Republicans must reject the “bait” of Democrats trying to coax GOP politicians into their divisive party agenda.
‘Is this a worthwhile fight?’ Baier asked DeSantis.
“We didn’t choose a fight, Brett,” the governor assured. “Kamala Harris took a plane at taxpayer expense and flew to Florida to lie about the African-American story standards that were developed.”
‘Why is it important, though? You cannot bend the knee to the lies of the left,” he continued. “When the left lies and creates these false narratives, you have to push back. They’ve been doing this to Republicans for years and years. Republicans bend the knee, and it’s just one thing after another.
“Harris comes in and parachutes,” he said of the vice president’s speech in Florida earlier this month, where she took aim at DeSantis and his politics.
“What the Republicans should have done is pushed back against her, say, ‘You’re in bad faith. Those guys in Florida – they didn’t have an agenda. They were just trying to shoot straight. We know what the left is doing,” DeSantis said.
“Republicans, you can’t take this bait, you have to fight these people.”
DeSantis also took responsibility for any downfall of his operation as “chief.”
“Is this the start of a campaign you envision?” Baier posed.
“Well, look at the end of the day, I’m the boss,” the governor replied. “You issue a commander’s intent and you delegate people to do it, and then you assess. And if it’s not up to par with what you want, then you just make adjustments.
The veteran naval officer added: “It happens all the time, it happens while governing.” And the question is – are you going to be able to identify anything that can give a bad (result and) change it?
“So we did that,” he said, “and I think at the end of the day nobody will care what happened in early July – six, seven months before the primaries.”
A New York Times/Siena poll released on Monday shows DeSantis a distant second to Donald Trump with just 17% support to the former president’s 54% – no other candidate even tops 5%
DeSantis said all voters really want to know more about the “substance” and less about the political game of it all.
The first debate in August, DeSantis says, is the time for candidates to really show Americans what they bring to the table. But Trump still says he won’t participate.
Trump posted on Truth Social on Monday, “Let ’em debate so I can see who I COULD consider for VP!”
It comes after anonymous members of his staff told news outlets the former president felt the stage of debate with candidates so far behind him in the polls was below him. Trump feels like he is essentially running again as an incumbent.