Jeb Bush’s debate memo leaked in 2015 — but DeSantis’ situation is 'uniquely challenging': analyst
Former communications director for Jeb Bush's 2016 presidential campaign, Tim Miller, recalled Sunday his experience working with Bush after his debate memo leaked — while discussing Florida governor and 2024 GOP candidate Ron DeSantis' recent leak.
"A leaked campaign playbook for Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has revealed a strategy that counts on denigrating rival [U.S. Senator] Marco Rubio (R-FL) and calming donors about their beleaguered candidate’s weak performance on the trail," The Guardian reported October 30, 2015.
During Sunday night's episode of MSNBC's Inside with Jen Psaki, Psaki spoke with Miller, who is also an MSNBC analyst, about his experience supporting Bush after his memo leaked in 2015, and how the 2016 GOP presidential candidate's situation differs from DeSantis'.
Psaki said, "Ok Tim, I didn't mean to bring up the past. We've all been there, I've dealt with leaked memos before. That happened just a couple hours before the debate. The story change pretty rapidly as I'm sure that was a moment of trauma and your work history. But, what does the DeDantis campaign do? All of these details are out there. It was from the super PAC, but it sound aligned with some of the things he might've thought about, like attacking Vivek Ramaswamy, defending Trump, does he need to change a strategy now?"
"Yeah, I love reliving some of the worst three hours of my life on Sunday evening," Miller said. "Thank you, Jen, for doing that with me."
Psaki interrupted, "I've been there. I have my own comms traumas. It's okay, Tim. But you know what it's like. That's why I wanted to ask you about it."
Miller replied, "I do know what it's like. And luckily in our situation, as you mentioned, it was before the debate. Number two, it was not a memo that was suggestions to Jeb, I was what the responses were gonna be if Jeb was attacked. And I think what's uniquely challenging about this DeSantis memo leak is that it offers him suggestive lines, and it suggests what DeSantis might say on the debate stage. Immediately all those lines are now neutered. He can't go and call him 'Vivek the fake,' or else Vivek will immediately say, 'Oh, did your rich donor handlers tell you to say that, DeSantis?' He can't do the same thing with Chris Christie. And Chris Christie's whole demonstration of Marco Rubio was over this, you know, he was repeating talking points he was told. I think it really hampers what DeSantis can do, specifically as it relates to what's in the memo, and I think that really the only thing he can do is what he should've done in the first place, which is ignore that advice and try to offer some critiques of Donald Rrump to demonstrate why he might be a better candidate. And then show that he's a bigger man than his strategist thinks he is."
DeSantis' "debate strategy, the New York Times and MSNBC report, includes tips like: attack President Joe Biden and the media three or five times, defend former President Donald Trump in response to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's attacks, and slam GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy."
Watch the video below or at this link.
MSNBC analyst Tim Miller speaks with host Jen Psaki about DeSantis' debate strategy leakyoutu.be
The Guardian's full report is available at this link.
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