DeSantis to Sit Down With Morning Joe as Part of Media Blitz – Ron DeSantis is launching a media tour that will lead him into unfamiliar and more challenging terrain. This Tuesday, the Republican presidential contender is scheduled to be a guest on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a program known for its critical view of his candidacy and much of the GOP lineup.
As per an adviser, the Florida governor is anticipated to continue this trend by making an appearance on CNN in the upcoming weeks, another outlet that has faced criticism from conservatives. These appearances come following recent conversations with prominent journalists from mainstream outlets such as CBS, ABC, and CNBC. They also follow an interview with HBO’s Bill Maher, whose viewership typically leans liberal.
During their 15-minute one-on-one, Maher posed questions to DeSantis about various topics, including his past support for Republicans who questioned the 2020 presidential election’s outcome and his ongoing disputes with Disney. Looking ahead, the governor is also expected to participate in multiple Sunday programs on various networks in the coming weeks, as indicated by an adviser.
Collectively, this series of interviews suggests a new phase in DeSantis’s campaign, one in which he will venture beyond his usual ideological comfort zone. According to the adviser, the governor is likely to conduct additional interviews on platforms known for their appeal to left-leaning audiences. DeSantis spokesperson Andrew Romeo said the governor was looking to “drive his message across a diverse swath of media to share his plans for what he will do as president to reverse America’s decline.”
However, DeSantis’s interviews also highlight another aspect of the GOP primary: it’s challenging for candidates who are not aligned with Trump to secure media coverage. Throughout his initial term as governor and the early stages of his 2024 presidential campaign, DeSantis primarily restricted his media appearances to conservative outlets. Foremost among them was Fox News, a network considered crucial by those around the governor for his national ascent.
However, as polls indicate that DeSantis is significantly behind former President Donald Trump and is engaged in competition with contenders like former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for the second position, the governor is taking proactive steps to increase his media visibility. By engaging with platforms like CNN and MSNBC, DeSantis is wagering that he can skillfully handle challenging questions and win over primary voters by presenting himself as a resilient fighter.
His team also argued that some Republican primary voters tune in to networks beyond conservative platforms for their news. They believe that by appearing on CNN and MSNBC, DeSantis can set himself apart from other candidates who exclusively target conservative outlets. DeSantis, who will be participating in his Morning Joe interview remotely, had not made any appearances on MSNBC this year. He had previously granted CNN one interview, conducted by host Jake Tapper in July.
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Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, a former Florida congressman, has been highly critical of DeSantis. Last month, he described it as “strange” and “bush league” for the governor not to meet with President Joe Biden during Biden’s visit to Florida to assess the damage from Hurricane Idalia. Scarborough also derided DeSantis’ fumbled campaign launch on Twitter Spaces as “bad on so many fronts” and said that the governor had “damaged himself” politically with his decision to sign a six-week abortion ban.
In the past, DeSantis has received criticism for appearing inaccessible to mainstream news organizations. During his initial term as governor, he gained a reputation for hosting press conferences marked by confrontations with reporters. Clips of these confrontations frequently circulated within right-leaning circles, earning him accolades from conservatives.