Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: DeSantis "Won the Night" with His "Best Debate to Date"

December 07, 2023

"Ron DeSantis clearly won tonight's debate." "Clear Winner." "Assertive." "He delivered." "Drew loud cheers."

Campaign Manager James Uthmeier: Ron DeSantis did exactly what he had to do tonight. He showed up. He's a fighter. We know that but he's a fighter and he wins. This is yet another debate victory for him. And for him, he wins not just because he's strong and principled, he doesn't waver and give different answers based on what state or audience he's visiting, what day of the week it is, he is principled. He sticks to his guns. And then he has the record of results.

Senior Advisor David Polyansky: When the lights were brightest tonight, @RonDeSantis delivered. Nikki Haley withered.

Campaign Manager James Uthmeier: Ron DeSantis won tonight. He's won every debate so far. He continues to get stronger, and he's got the record of wins to prove that he can do the job when he gets to the White House.

Iowa State Senator Dan Zumbach: Ron DeSantis has a group of folks that are standing behind that will go to the caucus will support it will caucus for men will vote for I think the vote there pulling a lot of people that are just trump, people that aren't necessarily clock scores. I think the polls are inaccurate.

Iowa Voter Deborah: He's got executive experience and a record of winning — and that's the most important thing... DeSantis is convincing voters with policy and a record.

Mark Levin: The winner of last night's debate is right. The media are pushing hard for Haley, as are the Wall Street billionaires and RINO establishment. But nobody is buying this.

Bill O'Reilly: The winner of the debate...was DeSantis...DeSantis tapped into the emotion that Republican voters are feeling... Haley came across as an Establishment figure. She's distant. She's not a culture warrior.

Terry Sullivan: I agree with the governor that DeSantis had his strongest night last night.

Josh Holmes: I thought Ron DeSantis did a very nice job of translating conservative anxieties into accomplishments that he had already done in Florida.

CNN Panel: This was an example of Haley receding a little bit in a way that I don't think really helped her... DeSantis did well.

Dan Bongino: Who won? I think DeSantis won.

Abby Philip: We do have to give DeSantis some credit. He had a very strong debate.

Chris Cuomo: DeSantis gave a voice to an issue in America…that I have not heard from any of these candidates on the other side until the way he said it tonight.

Philadelphia Radio Host Dom Giordano: Ron DeSantis clearly won tonight's debate.

Glenn Beck: I thought [DeSantis] put in a very strong performance last night.

Scott Jennings: DeSantis churns out solid, Republican conservative content on virtually every question. He did not bobble a single question tonight.

Jason Chaffetz: I think Ron DeSantis by far had the best debate. I think he is still head and shoulders over anybody else up on that debate stage. I think more people in the country want to be like Florida. They want the electoral success that Ron DeSantis had in turning a purple state red. But they also want to be like Florida, they like their tax scheme, the regulatory, everything about Florida. That's why I think Ron DeSantis won the debate and is winning on the people that watched that debate."

Scott Walker: I think there's no doubt about it. [DeSantis] had a good one.

Mark Tepper: Ron DeSantis was the clear winner.

RealClearPolitics: Fresh off an exhibition debate with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and sensing a threat in Haley, a more aggressive DeSantis was in evidence than the man who had appeared at the previous debates...DeSantis did not fade, like some of his supporters have complained of in his previous outings, and instead demonstrated the pugilism that made him famous during the pandemic.

Politico: Ron DeSantis had his best debate performance of the cycle

Washington Times: This was probably [DeSantis'] best debate to date

The Hill: The Florida governor had arguably his strongest debate performance so far during the primary cycle, taking an active role in the conversation throughout the night and landing attacks on multiple opponents.

Fits News: DeSantis chimed in frequently, earning one of the night's biggest applause bursts when he said about children having gender-changing surgery, "You do not have the right to abuse your kids. This is mutilating these minors; these are irreversible procedures."

Wall Street Journal: DeSantis hit the most consistently conservative points, including the cultural issues animating the party, blasting "gender mutilation" for minors.

ABC: DeSantis made the case that he's got a conservative track record full of election victories and policy wins.

Newsweek: DeSantis appeared assertive throughout the night, and was quick to jump on Haley with any chance he was given. Cheers from the crowd also appeared to pick up throughout the debate for the Florida governor, and he was quick to put to bed any doubts about his campaign

AP: DeSantis drew loud cheers when he said parents "do not have the right to abuse" their kids in response to Christie's remarks about signing legislation as governor of New Jersey to provide guidance for schools to protect transgender students.

Washington Examiner: Of the candidates onstage, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) came out best, with a smooth performance that stayed relatively above the fray and seemed to connect with the Alabama audience.

Washington Post: He delivered a crisp and even performance, making no notable mistakes and repeatedly putting Haley on defense on issues such as her encouragement of investment from China when she was governor of South Carolina.

New York Times: [DeSantis] delivered what many observed was his strongest performance to date, pressing Ms. Haley on her Wall Street donors and ties to corporate America while easily fending off his other foes.

Politico: DeSantis won

National Review: It was DeSantis's best primary-debate performance by far.

The Hill: This was clearly the Florida governor's best debate performance so far — and one that delivered a boost to his campaign just when it was most needed.

Hillsdale's Kirstin Kiledal: [DeSantis] more than any others had a bit of that story that's so important to gaining a sense of authenticity and credibility. He had people and names and places and examples of work that he had done where he had been successful, over and over again.

Ron Brownstein: FWIW, thought that was DeSantis' best #debate

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: DeSantis "Won the Night" with His "Best Debate to Date" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370676

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