Ron DeSantis was “the worst of all eight candidates” on the Republican debate stage on Wednesday night, MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Jen Psaki agreed, because he didn’t score a single memorable moment.
“I felt like just as a performer on the debate stage, he was probably the worst of all eight candidates, including a couple of them whose names are hard to remember,” Maddow said on Wednesday night after the debate. “Did he do himself whatever the opposite of a favor is just by being bad at talking?” she asked, which drew snickers from Psaki.
Psaki, a veteran political advisor who served as President Biden’s first press secretary, noted that she’s worked for candidates who were in the lower tiers of a race in this type of multi-podium debate, and said DeSantis did not rise to the occasion.
“You want to have a memorable moment,” she said in a clip from the network’s debate review posted on X. “You want a moment that goes out on social media, you want a moment that your donors remember that you can fundraise off of.”
“I don’t remember a single thing Ron DeSantis said,” Psaki continued. “I’m obviously not a target donor. But he was not memorable. So not only did people ignore him, but he didn’t have a moment that rose in the debate and both of those are problems for him.”
Maddow raised the possibility that DeSantis might have done his campaign some good, even though “nobody paid attention to him on stage,” but Psaki discounted the suggestion.
“Well, there was that story in the Washington Post, I think, about awkward Americans relating to him because he’s awkward, so maybe he appealed to that caucus, perhaps,” she quipped. “But I don’t think he did himself any favors tonight because he wasn’t memorable.”
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 24, 2023
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