No sooner had progressive Democrat Andrew Gillum been declared the winner of Florida’s gubernatorial primary than Fox was ready to start attacking him as a radical, far-left candidate. The Fox-backed Republican winner, Ron DeSantis was painted as a solid, mainstream choice.
DeSantis is a high-ranking member of the Republican Cover-up Caucus. In return, he got a “full endorsement” from Donald Trump, millions of dollars worth of free air time from Fox and endorsements from prime time hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Hannity also appeared at several DeSantis campaign events. DeSantis thanked Hannity and Fox host Mark Levin after his win.
Trump has a 50% approval rate in Florida, as of August 13, according to Morning Consult. It’s a loss of only 4 points since taking office. But it’s an 18% loss of net approval rating. In the most recent polling matchup of DeSantis and Gillum, according to RealClear Politics, Gillum is behind DeSantis by only three points, 39-36, with a 2.3 margin of error. So DeSantis is not sitting on any majority.
Fox got right to its Operation Gillum Smear in its report from fake-neutral correspondent Ed Henry. How many sly digs at Gillum and spin for DeSantis can you catch? Here’s what I caught:
HENRY: The governor’s race is going to come down to a dramatic clash between a key ally of President Trump, Ron DeSantis, against a Democrat backed by socialist Bernie Sanders, Andrew Gillum.
It’s going to be interesting as we see the Democratic Party in swing states like this tilt even further left.
On the Republican side, as I mentioned, Ron DeSantis tonight easily beat State Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam where the deciding factor very clearly was the coattails of the president. The president a short time ago tweeting this out there about the race, “Such a fantastic win for Ron DeSantis and the people of the Great State of Florida. Ron will be a fantastic Governor. On to November!” That from the president.
I mentioned Andrew Gillum on the Democratic side. He beat back a challenge from a more moderate candidate. He’s the Tallahassee mayor. He won after a key endorsement from Bernie Sanders and after an infusion of $650,000 [Henry’s emphasis] from liberals George Soros and Tom Steyer, who has been pushing for impeachment for a long time. So watch that.
Host Laura Ingraham was on hand to help pile on – and to widen the messaging to other midterm races. She and Henry returned to the Soros and Steyer backing of Gillum but neither mentioned all the help Fox gave DeSantis.
INGRAHAM: Ed, Steyer and Soros – a huge infusion of money in Florida. That, I understand, is going to be happening in other races, including in even statewide initiatives in places like Arizona, Colorado, Ohio and beyond. So this is just the beginning of what we’re seeing.
HENRY: It is and what could be significant is in a battleground like Florida ,which is typically tight in presidential races and midterm, whether it’s governor or this big senate race here, you have Andrew Gillum who’s been pulled very far left because, as you say, he’s got Tom Steyer and George Soros money behind him. He’s the Tallahassee mayor, a relatively unknown.
This was a surprise win, a shocker, really, and he beat back the daughter of Bob Graham, the former senator and governor – beat back a challenge from her. She’s a more moderate Democrat, former congresswoman, someone who is seen as sort of middle of the road, might have been a tougher challenger against Ron DeSantis. Now you’ve got the party pulled to the left. It will be fascinating how it plays out in November.
Then Ingraham welcomed DeSantis for a victory lap.
Watch Operation Gillum Smear below, from the August 28, 2018 The Ingraham Angle.