Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is blasting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and “Monster PAC” following a report exposing the political action committee’s campaign in “spreading dirt” and “misstatements” about the poll-rising Ramaswamy.
“It came out yesterday that the DeSantis $100m+ Monster PAC is taking credit with their donors for ‘spreading dirt’ and manufacturing fake attacks on me,” the Ohio biotech entrepreneur said in a statement. “Here’s a classic case of how their game works and leaves all conservatives holding the bag by confounding the real threats we face as a country.”
German-owned Politico on Sunday reported that Jeff Roe, top strategist for the DeSantis-aligned Never Back Down, bragged to a gathering of donors that his super PAC was behind a flood of opposition research targeting DeSantis’ biggest threat for No. 2 in the GOP presidential race.
“Everything you read about him is from us,” Roe said, speaking just hours before the first Republican primary debate in Milwaukee last month. The remarks were captured in an audio recording obtained by the news outlet. “Every misstatement, every 360 he’s conducting or 180 that he is going through in life, is from our scrutiny and pressure. And so, he’s not going to go through that very well, and that will get worse for him.”
As Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt wrote, Roe conceded during his question-and-answer session that if Ramaswamy had a “big night” at the debate, it could prove problematic for DeSantis. “That’s not great for us, short term,” he added.
Ramaswamy had a big night. Polling in third place nationally, distantly behind former President Donald Trump but climbing closer to DeSantis’ “lock” on second place, Ramaswamy walked into the debate with a huge target on his back. The millennial Republican faced an onslaught of attacks from his older opponents he’s passed by in national polls.
As of Monday, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of Republican Presidential Nomination polls, Ramaswamy remained in third place at 7. 1 percent, trailing Trump (53.6%) and DeSantis, who has seen his poll strength significantly erode to 14.3 percent support.
Polls and pundits concluded Ramaswamy was a top performer in the debate, garnering the most attention among viewers and voters.
Before the debate, a consultant for Never Back Down advised the DeSantis campaign to “take a sledgehammer” to Ramaswamy during the debate while defending Trump, according to hundreds of pages of guidance, memos and internal polling published online and first reported by the New York Times.
Post-debate, the knives were out — and sharpened.
“They created this stitched-together video, as if it’s a flip-flop from my position that the climate agenda is a hoax,” Ramaswamy said, referring to narratives the super PAC apparently spoon-fed to liberal and conservative media alike.
“Here’s the TRUTH: the real problem in our country isn’t the fact that global temperatures are going up slightly (they are), but the toxic anti-carbon agenda we’ve adopted in response,” he said in a statement in response to the Never Back Down revelations. “Today, eight times as many people die of cold temperatures as warm ones and the right answer to all temperature-related deaths is greater access to fossil fuels. The climate disaster-related death rate is down by 98 percent in the last century and Earth is more covered with green surface area today because carbon is plant food. The same people who rail against carbon emissions in the U.S. are fine with shifting them to China while also opposing nuclear energy in the U.S. So yes, the climate agenda is a hoax.”
German-owned Politico’s story on the “dirt”-pushing super PAC notes peddling opposition research on campaign opponents to the press in hopes of landing negative stories is nothing new.
“But it is exceedingly rare that a top strategist is caught on a recording admitting as much. And Roe is no mere operative. Never Back Down has taken on a central role in trying to secure the nomination for DeSantis, spending tens of millions of dollars to support a major voter persuasion and advertising operation.”
Trump has continued to dog DeSantis while praising Ramaswamy, who has called Trump “the best president of the 21st century.” The former president declared Ramaswamy the winner of the first debate.
“It’s a shame we have Republican swamp creatures trying to dupe our own people, which makes us less effective in fighting back against the climate cult. It’s finally time to end Super PAC Puppetry in the Republican Party,” Ramaswamy said.
DeSantis’ campaign did not immediately return The Star News Network’s request for comment.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Vivek Ramaswamy.