Leaked documents suggest Ron DeSantis has a surprising strategy for the Milwaukee debate, revealing DeSantis’s approach to both Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis’ Debate Strategy
Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is set to engage in the first Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
An outside political group supporting DeSantis leaked a debate strategy document. It outlines specific tactics to adopt in the forthcoming clash, including defending former President Donald Trump and attacking rival Vivek Ramaswamy.
According to the New York Times:
“1. Attack Joe Biden and the media 3-5 times. 2. State GRD’s positive vision 2-3 times. 3. Hammer Vivek Ramaswamy in a response. 4. Defend Donald Trump in absentia in response to a Chris Christie attack.”
Super PAC Involvement
The New York Times reported that a firm working with a DeSantis super PAC, Never Back Down, posted the document online. Super PACs can fundraise for candidates, but they have limitations on direct collaboration with campaigns. In this instance, the super PAC’s influence seems to have pervaded DeSantis’s presidential campaign, offering explicit advice, research memos, and internal polling to guide him.
Ramaswamy’s Rising Profile
Vivek Ramaswamy has risen to become a significant figure in the Republican party, surpassing DeSantis to reach second place in several polls, particularly in a number of swing-states. The growing prominence of Ramaswamy might render him a focus in the debate, a point emphasized by the leaked documents’ emphasis on “hammering” him, especially given Ramaswamy’s questionable business affiliations and his inexperience in politics.
Ramaswamy’s sharp wit might lead him to think that he can continuously maneuver through the debate, but DeSantis, being a more seasoned politician than Ramaswamy, might easily lure Ramaswamy into a trap.