Fox News hosts John Roberts and Bret Baier compared Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign to that of Jeb Bush on Tuesday.
Former President Donald Trump leads DeSantis in the RealClearPolitics average, 52.3% to 18%, while businessman Vivek Ramaswamy is in a tie with former Vice President Mike Pence at 5.5%, with Trump’s lead being 40% or higher in polls by Morning Consult, Rasmussen Reports and Harvard-Harris. “You know, when you take a look at governors and their history here, you know, the sense of inevitability that’s built around them, Jeb Bush, you remember him, we talked about [Tim] Pawlenty, Scott Walker,” Roberts said to Baier. (RELATED: DeSantis Says He Would Have ‘Zero Tolerance’ For FBI, DHS Colluding With Big Tech)
“Could Ron DeSantis be the latest in that group?” Roberts asked, noting the layoffs from the DeSantis’ campaign and citing three governors or former governors whose presidential campaigns faded relatively quickly in the 2012 and 2016 Republican primaries.
“This is a big sign. A third of the campaign staff, we have not even gotten to August as of yet. There were real concerns by big donors, we were told, of the spending, the burn rate, and they were spending a lot of money but not getting a lot of bang for their buck,” Baier said. “He is trailing in every poll by 20, 30, sometimes 40 points, depending on the poll, depending on the state and you just haven’t seen the traction for the guy that was supposed to be the guy.”
Bush, who served two terms as governor of Florida, had been a favorite to win the Republican nomination in 2016, but his campaign struggled and he dropped out in February of that year.
DeSantis announced his candidacy on May 24 in a glitch-filled Twitter Spaces event, which saw over 600,000 people initially try to listen to the announcement and follow-up questions. DeSantis won the 2022 Florida gubernatorial election in a landslide, defeating former Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist.
“This is a really interesting timeline about the constant reboots here in the DeSantis campaign, or the repeated reboots,” Roberts said. “In April, DeSantis’ super PAC debuts its very first television ad, May 24, the announcement, by July 6th, circulation of a confidential campaign memo. July 15th, campaign fires a dozen staffers. July 24th, The New York Times reports the campaign is moving into leaner, meaner operation cutting costs, we now find out they are cutting 38 staffers.”
“DeSantis says he’s going to hold smaller scale events in earlier states and engage more with the mainstream media, which would dovetail into the idea you’ve got this interview with him coming up Monday in New Hampshire, but that’s an awful lot of trouble for a campaign that’s barely two months old,” Roberts continued.
“Following a top-to-bottom review of our organization, we have taken additional, aggressive steps to streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden,” campaign Manager Generra Peck told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
This article has been updated with comment from the DeSantis campaign.
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