Megyn Kelly tried to put Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on the spot early in Wednesday’s fourth GOP presidential primary debate, hitting him about his poll numbers right off the bat.
The conservative commentator who was one of the moderators at the NewsNation event led off the two-hour competition between the four White House hopefuls, all of whom are badly trailing frontrunner Donald J. Trump by a country mile and went after DeSantis over his electability.
“Governor DeSantis, your campaign and its super PAC have spent the most money, had the most high net worth donors, and had a wave of momentum coming into this race after your big reelection win in Florida,” Kelly began. “You were seen by many as the candidate most likely to consolidate the non-Trump field.”
“But here we are a month out from the first real votes and you haven’t managed to do it. In fact, Nikki Haley is beating you in New Hampshire and South Carolina now, and closing in on you in Iowa,” she added, plugging the media’s pick for the nomination.
“Not to mention Trump, who is not only dominating in the early states, but is beating you in Florida by over 30 points. Is it fair to say, as Senator Tim Scott did when he dropped out, that voters are telling you, not ‘no’ but not now?” Kelly asked.
DeSantis responded by pointing out the historical inaccuracy of polls.
“So we have a great idea in America that the voters actually make these decisions, not pundits or pollsters,” he fired back. “I’m sick of hearing about these polls because I remember those polls in November of 2022. They said there was gonna be a big red wave. It was gonna be monumental and that crashed and burned,” referring to the predicted GOP sweep of Congress in last year’s midterms that never came to fruition.
“The one place it didn’t crash and burn was in the state of Florida. They weren’t predicting that I would win the way I did, and I won the greatest Republican victory in the history of the state of Florida,” the governor said, referring to his 20-point annihilation of hapless Democrat party-jumper Charlie Crist.
“I’m looking forward to to Iowa and New Hampshire,” he added.”The voters are gonna be able to speak and we’re gonna earn this nomination, and here’s what we need. I am sick of Republicans who are not willing to stand up and fight back against what the left is doing to this country.”
DeSantis then turned his fire on the former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who the media has been shilling for despite her lack of solid conservative credentials.
“You’ve gotta be willing to stand strong and you’ve gotta be willing to beat these people. I’m the only one running for president that has beaten these people on issue after issue,” DeSantis pointed out. “We beat the teacher’s unions when we did school choice. We beat Fauci on COVID. We beat George Soros…”
“And you have other candidates up here like Nikki Haley, she caves any time the left comes after her, any time the media comes after her,” he said. “I did a bill in Florida to stop the gender mutilation of minors, it’s child abuse and it’s wrong. She opposes that bill. She thinks it’s fine and the law shouldn’t get involved at that.”
“If you’re, not willing to stand up for the kids. If you’re not willing to stand up and say that it is wrong to mutilate these kids, then you’re not gonna fight for the people back home. I will fight for you and I will win for you,” he concluded to wild cheers, answering Kelly’s gotcha question and then some.
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