Ron DeSantis a 'terrible debater' whom GOP candidates 'should go after': Republican strategist

Ron DeSantis a 'terrible debater' whom GOP candidates 'should go after': Republican strategist
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis greets guests at Ashley's BBQ Bash hosted by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA) on August 06, 2023 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Seven of the 14 GOP candidates seeking the party's nomination for president were scheduled to speak at the event. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images).

Editor's note: The spelling of "Stuart" was corrected.

Veteran Republican strategist Stuart Stevens said on MSNBC on Sunday that if former President Donald Trump skips the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday, August 23rd that the other candidates should take aim at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

"Stuart, we put three pictures up on the screen because they're a whole bunch of no-lane people, and it'd be nice if one of them succeeds in suddenly shooting up and that does happen sometimes in Republican primaries," host Ali Velshi noted. "But ultimately we had Ron DeSantis, he's running number two. We've got Chris Christie, sort of the leading contender who is up against Donald Trump. He's the one who was prepared to take him to task on everything. And then there's Vivek Ramaswamy, who in some polls is showing up in the number two spot. And there's a leaked memo that suggests that DeSantis' strategy may be to hammer on Vivek Ramaswamy which sounds interesting to me. What's your take?"

Stevens explained that the GOP hopefuls who are participating should focus on how to defeat each other, rather than somebody who is absent.

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"Look, I think the key in any of these debates is to go into very specific strategy. You should try to accomplish two to three, four at the most things. If I was working for one of these candidates, I would not go after Donald Trump because he's not on stage. I would go after Ron DeSantis," Stevens opined. "And when you do that, you have to walk into that debate with the attitude, 'One of us is gonna walk off the stage alive.' And that's what needs to be done here. He's got the second most votes. I think he's a terrible debater. He lost a debate to Charlie Crist, which is not that easy to do. And I think that would show aggression in a strategy. I don't know what they're gonna do, but all of them had to sign a pledge saying that they would back the nominee of the party, right, to get on that stage. And that just to me seems to set the frame of the whole kind of moral collapse of the Republican party."

Watch the clip below or at this link.

MSNBC 08 20 2023 11 50

READ MORE: Why GOP candidates are 'correct in refusing' to sign RNC’s 'farcical' loyalty pledge: columnist

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