You have to meet me to like me

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis endured suffering after suffering in his campaign for the Republican nomination, forcing him to downsize and actually work with the traditional media.

But in an interview on Fox News, the governor appeared to have donned a pair of rose-tinted glasses. MediaBuzz on Sunday, downplayed problems and cited his travels to early primary states. That’s where, he told host Howard Kurtz, he found his voting audience — once they meet him in person.

“We were just at the Family Leaders Summit in Iowa on Friday. That was basically the start of the Iowa caucus season,” DeSantis said. “So the Iowans are starting to pay more attention to that. We’ve been able to speak to thousands of people over a two day period and the main thing I’ve heard from people is this. They’re like, ‘Yeah, you know, I knew you did good things in Florida, but I hadn’t seen you, and now that I’ve seen you, I’m with you.'”

DeSantis’ claim comes despite an avalanche of media reports about his personal clumsiness and whether he has the charisma to succeed on the trail.

DeSantis called the barrage of negative press coverage the work of a “corporate press” that didn’t want him to “dismantle the administrative state.” He insisted that the Republican debates were another way to show voters his personality.

“There are a lot of Republican voters out there who like what we did in Florida. You know I’m a good governor,” DeSantis said. “But they haven’t seen much of me up close, so this is a great opportunity for us to share our vision with others.”

Even six months before a single vote is cast in the race, DeSantis has little time to present those arguments to voters.

The candidate has largely limited sit-down interviews to conservative media channels such as Fox News and the Christian Broadcasting Network. According to an analysis by NBC News, his finances are stretched and he burned nearly $8 million in the first six weeks of his candidacy. DeSantis raised $20 million in the second quarter, millions more than Donald Trump, but $14 million of that came from donors who had exhausted their donations and $3 million has to be set aside for a general election campaign.

There are signs of a change in strategy. Accordingly, DeSantis fired about ten event planning employees on Thursday Politically, although he still has the largest campaign staff in the Republican field. CNN also announced that Jake Tapper will be interviewing DeSantis Tuesday, the governor’s first in-depth interview on the network since 2017.

DeSantis refused to directly address these issues during his tenure MediaBuzz Interview rather than pointing out how well he’s doing – once the voters meet him.

“The more I’m out there, the more support we’re getting in these early states, and it’s a state-by-state primary,” he said. “So I think it’s political misconduct to run for President fixated on the national and not Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. So that’s what we did. You can gain ground, and we’re gaining ground in all of these states. That won’t really be reflected in the national survey because they’re such small states that you won’t end up doing that. We keep an eye on the price.”

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