Ron DeSantis calls for “a sledgehammer” for rising political newcomer Vivek Ramasamy in the polls. Chris Christie must “defend Donald Trump” when he inevitably attacks the former president. And he should “attack Joe Biden and the media” no less than three to five times.
Mr. An organization affiliated with the super PAC that effectively took over DeSantis’ presidential campaign Published online Ahead of next Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee, Florida’s governor has hundreds of pages of blunt advice, research notes and internal polls on proposed states.
The collection of documents provides an unusual glimpse into the DeSantis operation’s thinking about a debate that the candidate’s advisers consider important.
“There are basically four things that need to be done,” said a note to Mr. Emphasizing DeSantis, the document refers to him as “GRD.”
“1. Attack Joe Biden and the media 3-5 times. 2. Positive view of state GRD 2-3 times. 3. Hammer Vivek Ramasamy in a response. 4. Defend Donald Trump in absentia in response to Chris Christie attack.
These documents, Mr. DeSantis’ super PAC was posted this week on the website of Axiom Strategies, a firm owned by Jeff Rowe, chief strategist at Never Back Down.
The New York Times was alerted to the existence of the documents by someone unaffiliated with the DeSantis campaign or super PAC. The group was removed from the website after The Times reached out to Never Back Down for comment on Thursday An important note Summarize the suggested strategy for discussion.
Super PACs are barred by law from personally strategizing with political campaigns. To avoid violating those rules, it’s not unusual for outside groups to post voting documents out in the open, though an obscure corner of the Internet can see them.
Posting such documents online can be risky – the news media or competitors may find them, and the advice could be embarrassing. But super PACs often decide that the risk is reasonable to communicate important non-public information to a candidate without breaking the law.
But it’s unusual for a super PAC, or a consulting firm working for it, to post documents on its own website. (“Now 216,561”), and over 400 pages of detailed findings, including a New Hampshire poll. Because the documents are so strategy-heavy, the super PAC that recently took a top official, David Polianski, to the campaign, tries to dictate how the candidate should behave on the debate stage.
DeSantis’ super PAC and campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. DeSantis has been attacking DeSantis mercilessly for months. Notably missing from the discussion materials is a Trump-centric document. The former president, who said it would be impossible to participate in the debate, gave a preview of what he could expect on stage, Mr. Previous attacks against DeSantis were not among the candidates highlighted by the super PAC. The key strategy note for the debate made no mention of policy — and steered clear of talking about specific solutions. The advice excludes DeSantis because doing so won’t get him the headlines.
Key among the documents is a “Discussion Memorandum” dated August 15, which has been hit by critical coverage and Mr. Struggling to gain attention in the face of Trump’s accusations, Mr. DeSantis describes how cynically. Very positive media attention from the debate.
Addressed simply to “interested parties,” the memo describes “Roger Ailes’s orchestral pitch theory,” citing the now-late Fox News executive and political strategist’s well-known principle that a candidate who has laid out a comprehensive plan on foreign policy will draw less. Coverage than someone who accidentally fell on the debate stage.
To that end, the memo lists “possible orchestral bit moments,” starting with a chance to make a play, complete with a suggestion of Trump-style humiliation: “Take a sledgehammer to Vivek Ramasamy: ‘Fake Vivek’ or ‘Fake Vivek’ .'”
Related documents – running nearly 5,000 words on 17 pages – DeSantis action Mr. shows suggest that Ramasamy is portrayed as an unrealistic conservative.
An internal poll in the collection of documents shows that in New Hampshire Mr. Shows Ramasamy rising, which may have inspired the attacking line-up. In New Hampshire in April Mr. Ramasamy was at 1 percent, but rose to 11 percent in an early August survey, documents show.
“Another boring, establishment attack from the super PAC-creating ‘Robo Ron’ who is taking lame, pre-planned attack lines against me in next week’s debate,” Mr Ramaswamy said in response to the contents of the memo and documents at X. .
Urging DeSantis to “defend Chris Christie when he’s attacking him,” former New Jersey governor Mr. “There’s no ‘Trump’ here, so let’s leave him alone. He’s too weak to defend himself here. We’re all competing against him. We’re going to partner with someone auditioning for a show on MSNBC on this stage,” he said, with a specific suggestion for an attack line that he accuses of appealing mainly to Democrats. I don’t think so.
In response to the documents, Mr. Brian Jones, executive director of a Christie-supporting super PAC, sent a blast email to “interested parties” titled “Debate Strategy for the CJC.” The only thing in the body of the email was, “Be yourself and tell it like it is.”
Mr. For DeSantis, Mr. The recommendation in the debate-preparation memo to defend Trump went to just one point: Mr. Rebut Christie, Mr. Praise Trump for his accomplishments and indicate that it’s time to move on. A new republican standard-bearer. Mr. Trump’s time has passed, and Mr. The documents also suggest that DeSantis should be seen as a “torch bearer.”
Strategy Note Mr. gives DeSantis an elaborate script through which Mr. Can position himself in relation to Trump.
He said Mr Trump was “a breath of fresh air and the first president to tell the elites where to push”, adding that the former president “was attacked all the time, provoked attacks all the time, it was non-stop.”
Now accused four times Mr. Mr. DeSantis could argue that Mr. Trump faces “too many distractions to focus on moving the country forward” and that “this election is too important. We need someone who can fight for you instead of for himself.”
Mr. DeSantis, the memo insists, is the only candidate who can keep the Trump movement going.
The memo is issued later A YouTube link As “inspiration”. It’s an ad produced by Win It Back PAC, a group affiliated with the anti-tax organization Club for Growth, which is spending heavily to run the ad in Iowa. Spotted a man who described himself as a disillusioned ex-Trump voter and said Mr. Expresses concerns about Trump’s election — effectively creating a permission framework for voters to move on from him.
Strategy Note Mr. It highlights one of DeSantis’ longstanding political vulnerabilities, his reputation for being awkward or aloof on the campaign trail.
Taken together, the documents reveal how much the financially struggling DeSantis campaign relies on the resources of his super PAC, which raised $130 million in the first half of the year. External Committee Mr. DeSantis’ competitors pay for research on strategic intelligence and polling — all traditionally the work of campaigns.
How each candidate on the debate stage mr. The documents include extensive research showing that they attack DeSantis. They also include a dossier on North Dakota’s low-voting governor, Doug Burgum, who accused Mr. Warned that DeSantis might be attacked – a hint Florida’s governor signed the law into law last year This allows parents to challenge books they deem inappropriate for school libraries.
Some of the lengthy documents — about Mr. Ramaswamy, Mr. Christie and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina — underscored the idea that the super PACs were the most focused candidates.
In some polls Mr. Close to DeSantis, Mr. Ramaswamy, Mr. DeSantis is the only candidate in which two separate papers describe potential vulnerabilities. One cites Mr Ramaswamy’s past statements on abortion, immigration policy and Covid masks among a long list of subjects. Another is a long anti-research document on his positions and past actions.
In a poll conducted by WPA intelligence in early August, Mr. It shows DeSantis in second place with 16 percent support, with Mr. Trump ahead but only at 34 percent. Mr Ramasamy was third with 11 per cent and Mr Christie was fourth with 8 per cent.
But in the private poll Mr. DeSantis had other warning signs. His net favorability among Republicans — the difference between the percentage of voters who view him favorably and the percentage who view him favorably — fell from 65 percentage points in March to 26 points in August. Mr. Scott was heavily favored with a 49-point net advantage.
Mainly, Mr. DeSantis has also declined in serving as the second choice of Republican voters, falling from 32 percent in March to 17 percent in August, and Mr. Scott and Mr. Ramasamy joined both.
Internal polls included in the documents about Iowa were less detailed, but showed Mr Trump leading the state with 40 per cent support, while Mr DeSantis had 19 per cent and Mr Scott 12 per cent.