Ron DeSantis responds to chatter over leaked memo allegedly laying out debate strategy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke out on Saturday about a leaked GOP primary debate strategy memo, posted briefly to Axiom’s website by the candidate’s super PAC, Never Back Down.

According to The New York Times, the memo included tips for the governor, such as “take a sledgehammer” to rising star Vivek Ramaswamy; “defend Donald Trump” against attacks by Chris Christie; and “attack Joe Biden and the media” at least three to five times.

The memo was quickly deleted, but the damage was done: Ramaswamy took a sledgehammer to it.

Asked about the memo by Fox News Digital, DeSantis denied having anything to do with it.

“The memo’s not mine,” he stated. “I haven’t read it, and it’s just, I think, something that we have put off to the side.”

“In terms of the debate,” DeSantis continued, “look, I know from the military, when you’re over the target, that’s when you’re taking flack. If you look, really in the last six to nine months, I’ve been more attacked than anybody else.”

(Video: YouTube)

He then, whether consciously or not, went on to follow strategy tip number three.

“Biden, Harris, the media, the left, other Republican candidates,” he listed as his attackers.

“And there’s a reason for that,” he said, “because people know that I’m the biggest threat. So we view it as positive feedback.”

Whatever is thrown at him at the upcoming debate, DeSantis said that “we’ll be ready for it.”

“We’ll be ready to do what we need to do to deliver our message,” he said, “but we absolutely expect that, and we’ll be ready for it.”

“That means punching back?” asked the Fox News Digital reporter.

“Yes, that means defending ourselves,” DeSantis replied, “but more importantly showing why we are the leader to get this country turned around.”

As BizPac Review has reported, the governor’s campaign has been receiving a lot of “flack.”

On Friday, former New Jersey governor and fellow presidential hopeful, Chris Christie, took a swipe at DeSantis over his non-answer to a high school teen’s question about the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

Asked by a 15-year-old if he believed “that Trump violated the peaceful transfer of power,” DeSantis began tap dancing.

“I wasn’t anywhere near Washington that day,” he told the young man. “I have nothing to do with what happened that day. Obviously, I didn’t enjoy seeing, you know, what happened. But we gotta go forward on this stuff. We cannot be looking backwards and be mired in the past.”

Speaking in South Miami, Florida, Christie told the crowd, “Well, sh*t, man, I wasn’t in Washington either, ok? But I have a TV set and I saw what was going on and I got an opinion about it.”

And, last week, Trump declared, “It’s over for Ron DeSanctimonious,” after a new RMG Research Inc. poll showed the former president with a commanding 60 percent lead and Ramaswamy, at 13 percent, taking over the second-place position, sending DeSantis to the unenviable third-choice position.


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Melissa Fine


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