Founder of the Ron DeSantis-backing PAC “Never Back Down,” Ken Cuccinelli, called out CNN’s Kasie Hunt on Sunday for allegedly deceptively cutting a clip of DeSantis’ latest interview.
The “State of the Union” panel were discussing the upcoming Republican primary debate set for Wednesday, with Cuccinelli arguing it would be an opportunity for voters to get to know DeSantis. Cuccinelli said DeSantis was not going to behave “juvenile” allegedly like former President Donald Trump, prompting Hunt to cut in.
“There was a pretty interesting moment in a recent interview where Governor DeSantis talked about Trump supporters, he used the words ‘listless vessels,’ I want to play— ”
“He’s not talking about Trump supporters,” Cuccinelli shot back. (RELATED: CNN Pushes Kamala’s False Claim About Florida Curriculum, Immediately Issues ‘Clarification’)
“Hold on, hold on,” Hunt responded. “I’m gonna play it for everybody and then you can go ahead. Let’s listen.”
“A movement can’t be about the personality of one individual,” DeSantis said in the recent interview being played. The CNN clip featured a jump cut to a later portion of the interview in which DeSantis said, “If all we are listless vessels that are supposed to follow whatever happens to come down the pike on truth social every morning, that’s not going to be a durable movement.”
In the larger interview, DeSantis spoke about making a movement on principles, which CNN cut out.
“Everybody just saw there that there was a cut. You cut from the beginning of that quote to the ‘listless vessels.’ You just did what the problem is. So everybody who just watched that understand go read the transcript,” Cuccinelli said.
“Okay,” Hunt said. “Fine, you summarize for us what was it that he was trying to say?”
“Well, first of all his first point is an excellent point, this should be about America not about individuals,” Cuccinelli said before Hunt cut in.
“How do we get from there to listless vessels?”
“There’s a pretty big gap in your cut,” Cuccinelli said before arguing DeSantis was referring to some of the Republican leaders who have endorsed Trump and “the more general environment” in which voters are not being grounded in principle.
“You don’t have to listen to me,” he added. “You can go read it yourself.”
The panel went on to argue about Trump’s presence in the Republican party versus how DeSantis might be able to gain some ground in the polls.