MSNBC host and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday on “Morning Joe” that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is failing “to appease the Trump base” amid a heated battle for the 2024 nomination.
DeSantis entered the presidential race on Wednesday after months of speculation.
“People are going to say he’s awkward, he’s not good with people, et cetera, et cetera,” host Joe Scarborough said, suggested that DeSantis could present a “compelling message” by admitting he wasn’t a “reality TV star” like Trump.
“He certainly needs a path of his own,” Psaki responded. “He is trying right now to appease the Trump base. He’s been trying that for months. It isn’t exactly working. So what you’re proposing there … what others have called for … is the other path, which is: Can he reach the sane Republicans out there who may have conservative policy viewpoints, who may have conservative views, but don’t want all of the crazy, which is somebody who’s going to pardon insurrectionists … Is there a lane for the non-crazy?” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: DeSantis Picks Up Four More New Hampshire State Rep Endorsements)
“Then there could be a debate about policy issues, and I think the Biden team would be happy to have that with DeSantis about some of his positions on issues like abortion and concealed carry,” she continued. “But that’s not the path that DeSantis has chosen … There’s been a lot of projection since November from many Republicans — and others who want an alternative to Trump — on the magic of Ron DeSantis … We have not seen the magic yet. So yes, he needs a different message, but does he have that kind of magical charisma quality that you need to be president? And we have not seen evidence of that at this stage.”
DeSantis‘ campaign raised $8.2 million in the 24 hours following his announcement, according to a campaign press release. DeSantis raked in $1 million in the first hour alone. Meanwhile, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott brought in $2 million in the first 24 hours after launching his presidential campaign. DeSantis also outpaced President Joe Biden’s 2019 presidential launch, which netted Biden $6.3 million by the end of the first day.