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DeSantis mixes up media strategy in hope of closing Trump gap

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An overlook of Times Square, with a CNN billboard looming over.

The Washington Examiner, July 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is broadening his media outreach strategy by sitting down with CNN as his campaign seeks to counter a range of negative headlines. But with polling indicating former President Donald Trump is only extending his lead over DeSantis and the rest of the field six months before the Iowa caucuses, critics contend it may be too little, too late for the governor.

DeSantis, whose interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper airs Tuesday, “needs to get people to talk about him in a different way,” according to former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. “For six months, the story has been ‘Why isn’t DeSantis catching on?’ He needs to change the narrative, and taking on CNN is one way to do it,” the former President George W. Bush spokesman told the Washington Examiner.

Republican strategist Brad Todd agreed with Fleischer’s “taking on CNN” remark, underscoring how DeSantis experienced his “national political peak” when he was being “derided” by the national media during the coronavirus pandemic. “Now he is trying to get a time machine to take him back to that by setting up planned confrontations,” Todd said. “He’s done much better when he was posted up against the media than when he was posted up against Donald Trump, so he’s hoping to reframe things so voters see him in that light again.”

Continue reading at The Washington Examiner.

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