Ron DeSantis unleashes on Adam Putnam ahead of $12M ad buy

Ron DeSantis

On Saturday morning, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis made his pitch for the GOP nomination for Governor in a familiar place: Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra.

With him, serving as hypeman: regular Fox News collaborator and Congressional colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz.

The bad news for the campaign: a 15-point deficit (32 to 17 percent) in recent polls from Fox News and the Florida Chamber.

The good news: a silver bullet, in the form of the Pres. Donald Trump endorsement tweet. DeSantis’ team expects that the co-branding with Trump will erase that lead quickly

DeSantis’ visit to Sawgrass, the first of three stops Saturday, was very much the kickoff of a new, active phase of the campaign, one in which the candidate will spend $12 million on an ad buy starting Monday. He will also have the support on the ground of Fox News endorsers, such as Sean HannityMark LevinJudge Jeanine, as well as President Donald Trump and his namesake son.

Will this push be enough? DeSantis, whose strategy thus far has been less headline-grabbing than Putnam’s, short on in-state endorsements, believes that it will — and that he will be vindicated in choosing to ramp up the campaign comparatively later than Putnam did.

“I appreciate that people spent a lot of money in April and May, which my opponents did attacking me,” DeSantis said in a media availability after his remarks.

“We have a liftoff from the President, we have a debate [next week],” DeSantis added. “You’re going to see a very aggressive campaign when people are paying attention, and I think a couple of weeks from now you’re going to see a very different thing.”

“I’ve been building for the moment. I have not been out wasting money,” DeSantis said, a “deliberate strategy that will pay off.”

From there, DeSantis addressed Putnam’s contentions that he’s just looking for a better job (rooted in this being the second time in two years DeSantis abandoned the House seat to pursue higher office).

DeSantis doesn’t believe Putnam, a child of privilege (in his telling), has room to talk.

“Adam Putnam has been running for office since he was 22,” he thundered.

“[Putnam] has not had a career outside of politics, he inherited his money, he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. I’m somebody who was a blue-collar kid. I started making six dollars an hour. I worked myself. I got nothing handed to me,” DeSantis said.

“I had one of the best resumes in the country when I came out of school. I could have made a lot of money. Instead, I volunteered to serve in the Navy. Deployed to Iraq, served in Guantanamo, served in some of our bases here in Florida,” DeSantis said.

“This guy is the consummate career politician, and he’s exactly what’s wrong with modern politics,” DeSantis added.

“Adam says he knows so much. He’s never served in uniform,” DeSantis said, “and the decisions he’s made — if you know so much about Florida, why do you oppose E-Verify?”

“The lack of judgment, time and time again, shows me that he really doesn’t know what taxpayers and voters want. He knows Florida from the perspective of a career politician and what the power brokers in Tallahassee want, not what the actual voters want,” DeSantis said.

“Adam is the toast of Tallahassee, the insider class,”  DeSantis added. “On Duval Street, he will beat me in the vote. But the ones the insiders want aren’t always the ones the voters want.”

“If you want proof of that, look at Rick Scott in 2010. To a man, they opposed him,” he concluded. “And look at the good job Gov. Scott has done.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    June 23, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Who else was born on third base and believes he’s hit a home run? A: Desantis’ benefactor currently residing in the white house.

    When it comes down to it there’s not much of a difference between desantis & putnam other than seeing which one can more firmly plant his lips to Trump’s ass cheeks. Maybe in the end it will come down to who can be more belligerent when it comes to immigration policy and law enforcement rhetoric? Desantis has Trump’s vote while Putnam has Scott’s endorsement. The latter might be a career politician but how is that different from a glorified jag officer using his former position to wrap himself in the flag so he can use it as a stepping stone to run for office. Desantis using the “he’s never worn the uniform card reminds me of NFL players who criticize reporters for never having “played the game” when they don’t want to answer tough questions.

  • Trueblue

    June 24, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Desantis should hammer Putnam on the sweetheart deal that made Putnam rich.
    Swifmud: “Hi, we’d like to buy some of your land.”
    Putnam: ” How about you buy all of it for more than its value and give me perpetual grazing.rights? ”
    Swifmud: “Deal.”

  • Roger M

    June 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Potus is not running to be governor of FL DeSantis is. If you believe in the MAGA movement the choice is obvious ……DeSantis. Putnam’s neg campaign trying to smear DeSantis’ record with half truths while being supported by big Sugar interests who are more interested in keeping subsidies than what is best for the state should start to implode.

    • Maria S

      June 26, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Absolutely on point.

  • James Huffer

    June 25, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Republicans seem unusually enamored with with people who think laws are for democrats and republicans need not adhere. I know nothing of Desantis nor the claims against him but I am besieged with Putnams adds with Grady Judd in full uniform in direct violation of the Hatch act arm around Putnam and using his position as Sheriff to solidify Putnam’s supposed superiority when neither one has the ability to do the job. Both republicans are bought and paid for politicians whose job will be to repay their benefactors.

Comments are closed.


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