Ron DeSantis says his 2018 ad touting Donald Trump was just a play for ‘free media’

DeSantis Trump ad
'I knew that that would cause the corporate media to light their hair on fire and they did.'

Florida’s Governor is explaining away a controversial ad in which he touted his deep affinity for Donald Trump as a “tongue-in-cheek” play for “free media.”

“That’s obviously tongue in cheek. … Of course, it’s a funny video, but here’s the thing about it,” Ron DeSantis said, “when you’re doing these campaigns, you want to get as much free media as possible. So I knew that that would cause the corporate media to light their hair on fire and they did. And so they just kept playing it for me. So we didn’t even have to really pay for the ad.”

From there, DeSantis suggested that the ad’s touting of Trump wasn’t as appealing to Republican voters in the race against Adam Putnam as the depiction of his family was.

“Part of it is that ad gets out, what do the average voters see? They say, ‘Hey, this is a guy with a, you know, this beautiful wife, young kids, everything like that.’ And that, that, that kind of helped us there,” DeSantis said on the PBD Podcast.

DeSantis also said he would have won in 2018 without Trump’s endorsement, which he suggested actually held him back from winning by more than 34,000 votes against Andrew Gillum.

“The test of that is I won by 34,000 with his endorsement. Four years later, he attacked me three days before the election and I won by 1.5 million votes,” DeSantis said.

“Trump was a factor in 2018. It didn’t matter what I did, they were going to vote against me. That was, that was the reason they viewed me as that.”

While DeSantis may contend that his family was the takeaway from his ad and that he would’ve been better off without the then-President’s strong backing, Trump (who was rallying with the then-candidate days after the ad’s release) was the leitmotif of the spot narrated by Casey DeSantis.

“Everyone knows my husband Ron DeSantis is endorsed by President Trump. But he’s also an amazing dad. Ron loves playing with the kids,” Casey DeSantis says, kicking off an ad that attempts to meld humor and the presentation of her husband as a family man.

The spot features DeSantis exhorting a child to “build the wall” using giant construction blocks, reading to a child from “The Art of the Deal,” and teaching a child to read from a Trump sign.

“Make America great again,” DeSantis reads to one of his offspring.

“People say Ron is all-Trump, but he’s really so much more,” Mrs. DeSantis quips, as the camera pans to a child of tender age in a crib, wearing a Make America Great Again onesie.

“Big league,” the candidate says, “so good.”

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


  • Michael K

    October 30, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Besides the ick factor of using his kids as brainwashed props, the ad foreshadows the future in the part where DeSantis delivers the Trump line: ” You’re fired!” How prophetic, as we watch Trump trounce Little D – in spite of, or because of, his many indictments.

    • PeterH

      October 31, 2023 at 8:38 am

      Excellent! You are so right! It’s all about exposure! Good exposure or bad ….. it really doesn’t make a difference!

  • Earl Pitts "Earl Knows Best" American

    October 30, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    If Ron, America’s 100% next POTUS says it its true. You all can just relax your sphincters secure in the fact that Ron is miles ahead of your own brains which are about the size of just one pea in a can of peas.
    Have a sphincter relaxing evening knowing that I, Earl Pitts American 100% know the answers to all of your questions even before you ask such questions.
    Earl Pitts American

  • Joe

    October 30, 2023 at 10:05 pm

    Oh, so you actually are the soulless cynical politician we could all tell you are… got it!

  • Lee

    October 31, 2023 at 10:37 am

    But now he’s being sincere, and you can totally believe everything he says this time.


Comments are closed.


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