On Tuesday, Florida Governor and now presidential candidate Ron DeSantis joined libertarian TV presenter John Stossel to discuss his plans.
In a surprising statement, DeSantis suggested that his 2018 primary campaign ad featuring the slogan “Build the Wall” was meant to be “satirical,” Florida Politics first reported.
The ad, which featured DeSantis acting like a Donald Trump mini-me teaching his child how to “build the wall” and reading from Donald Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal,” was meant to manipulate the media into discussing his campaign.
“Well, if you watch that, I mean, you know, it was a satirical ad,” said DeSantis.
Adding, “It was a little tongue in cheek, but that was, you know, many years ago.”
He asserted that the ‘Build the Wall’ ad was a strategic move designed to exploit media attention and drive discussions around his candidacy.
“I was running and we wanted to get some notoriety. And so I knew if we did that, that it would cause the press to go berserk, and what they would do is they would be outraged by it, but they would keep playing it and so people would see,” he said.
“I don’t even know how much money we paid to run it, but the media ran it for us because they were so upset, you know, that it was a pro-Trump ad.”
Watch the ad below:
The governor’s statement has raised eyebrows and prompted a wave of criticism from political opponents.
“Really? The support of Donald Trump evoked in this ad was crucial in the nomination of Ron DeSantis for Governor in 2018,” said Roger Stone.
“Ron DeSantis says his 2018 Donald Trump tribute ad was ‘satirical.’ In other words, he never supported Trump or MAGA but used them to get elected. MAGA won’t forget!” said Alex Bruesewitz, political advisor and CEO of X Strategies.
“So basically Ron DeSantis ADMITS to lying to voters to get elected. What a piece of work,” said Steven Cheung, a political advisor who served in the Trump administration.
President Trump called DeSantis disloyal and argued his political career would have been over had he not received his endorsement during his successful 2018 campaign.
“He was dead as a dog, he was a dead politician. He would have been working perhaps for a law firm or doing something else,” said Trump in Iowa last March.
Trump also said this during an interview with Hannity: “I got him the nomination. By the way, he could have never gotten the nomination. He would be working in either a pizza parlor place or a law office right now.”