On Tuesday, Florida’s primary elections – including a Democratic primary for the office of the governor – is taking place. Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, released a campaign ad in which he is portrayed as Top Gun’s Maverick, taking on the corporate media as a part of his leadership role.
The ad was initially posted on Twitter, but the ad has also run on Fox News. In the ad, DeSantis is outfitted with a flight suit and Aviator sunglasses. He’s speaking to a non-pictured group, telling them how to take on an aggressive group of reporters who don’t agree with his policies.
DeSantis is at an air base that is called “Freedom Headquarters,” and he’s next to a briefing board, where he’s taken a dry erase marker and listed how to negotiate the media, something DeSantis has been famous for in his time in office. DeSantis’ wife, Casey, posted the video on her Twitter, with the caption: “Top Gov . . .Dogfighting . . .Taking on the Corporate Media.”
DeSantis’ voice is dubbed over various clips from his governorship. When DeSantis signed into law a bill that would prevent the teaching of certain sexually-oriented topics between grades kindergarten through third grade, critics dubbed it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. In one clip, a reporter is asking him about the bill. DeSantis shoots back, “Where does it say that in the bill?”
During this portion of the ad, DeSantis can be heard saying: “Rule number one: Don’t fire unless fired upon, but when they fire, you fire back with overwhelming force.” DeSantis is known for his tete-a-tetes with the local and national media. He is also known for a refusal to stand down; ironically, DeSantis is never rude with his retorts. Rather, he is matter of fact, and he never seems shaken by an encounter with the media.
DeSantis offered two more rules in his campaign ad. His second rule is “Never back down from a fight;” while rule number three is “Don’t accept their narrative.”
DeSantis’ son made a cameo appearance in the video as well. He was also given a line of dialogue: “Let’s turn and burn,” mimicking lingo from the original Top Gun blockbuster movie.
Some have described DeSantis as a more tactful version of the 45th president. DeSantis makes his points clearly and succinctly. The Washington Examiner has described DeSantis as one of the foremost Republican leaders aside of President Donald Trump.
There are those who believed that DeSantis would announce a run for the 2024 presidency. The recent CPAC meetings conducted straw polls regarding DeSantis’ likelihood for support as the 2024 Republican nominee; Trump and DeSantis were the favorites in both polls.
However, DeSantis made clear long ago that he would be focusing on his current campaign as Florida’s governor. Today, former governor Charlie Crist and the current Agricultural Commissioner, Nikki Fried, are battling it out in a Democratic primary today. Crist was formerly a Republican when he was a Senator and as the governor.
Polling in Florida holds DeSantis with a comfortable lead over either of the top Democrats expected to win today. One poll has Fried running in November against DeSantis; the incumbent governor took 50 percent of the poll, while Fried received about 43 percent. Another poll had former governor Crist on the Democratic ticket; again, DeSantis had 51 percent of the vote. Crist had the same polling results as Fried.
Florida’s primary is one to be watched across the country. Incumbent Republican Congressmen Marco Rubio and Matt Gaetz are both facing primary challengers. Fox News is reporting that Gaetz has spent approximately $60 million in campaign ads.
Gaetz is known as a loyal supporter of former President Trump.
At least eight Republicans are looking to take an empty seat in the 7th District of Florida. Another open seat is one left open by Charlie Crist as he vacated the seat to run once more for governor.