Though Ron DeSantis has spent most of the past week being mocked by both his critics and media outlets, MSNBC’s Jen Psaki warned viewers that these memes shouldn’t “distract” audiences from what’s really at play.
Psaki said on Sunday’s “Inside With Jen Psaki” that DeSantis has been signaling to MAGA supporters “that he will succeed where Trump did not” and questioned his respect for the office and the Constitution.
“It’s about power. He’s made no secret of that,” Psaki said, later adding that “we can all still enjoy the Twitter memes that mock the next inevitable awkward thing DeSantis does on the campaign trail. But just don’t let that distract from what he’s actually saying because that is far more consequential.”
The Florida governor and 2024 presidential hopeful has become an often-ridiculed target among his opponents and critics. Everything from DeSantis’ white boots to his fake laugh has served as fodder for online mockery. Former president Donald Trump’s super PAC even made an attack ad that centered around the revelation DeSantis eats pudding with his fingers.
The most recent cause for laughter was the Florida governor’s “botched” campaign announcement via Twitter Spaces on Wednesday. What was supposed to be an online conversation with platform CEO Elon Musk was marred by multiple delays, crashes and interruptions.
“Given the hype, it’s safe to safe that it wasn’t in the DeSantis campaign communications plan for the most common descriptions of the event to be words like ‘meltdown,’ ‘disaster’ and worse,” Psaki said.
But the “Inside” host cautioned that “none of that should detract from what he’s actually saying.” In her warnings, Psaki highlighted DeSantis’ pledge to fire FBI director Christopher Wray and his claims that he would consider pardoning the Jan. 6 rioters, which would possibly include his political rival Trump. Yet the point Psaki was most worried about was DeSantis’ interest in the “leverage points” around Article II of the Constitution. That article outlines the limitations of what a U.S. president can and cannot do.
“DeSantis has made repeatedly clear this week that he’s not actually interested in limitations or guardrails at all,” Psaki said. “Clearly DeSantis is pitching himself as the guy who will wield power in a way that extends even beyond what Trump did. He made that crystal clear on Thursday when he said as President he’d stretch his authority further than the limits of his predecessors.”
Watch the full “Inside With Jen Psaki” segment in the video above.