Ron DeSantis doesn’t recall eating pudding with three fingers on private flight

·3 min read
Ron DeSantis doesn’t recall eating pudding with three fingers on private flight

In a bizarre episode for the Florida governor, as he prepares to announce his expected 2024 campaign for the White House, Ron DeSantis has chosen not to outright deny that he ate chocolate pudding with three fingers on a private flight in 2019.

The incident was reported by The Daily Beast, which noted that Mr DeSantis sometimes struggles to “read the room”.

“I don’t remember ever doing that,” the governor told Piers Morgan in an interview on Fox Nation.

“Maybe when I was a kid, but it’s interesting there’s a lot of people who when they go at you, sometimes they have really good ammunition like, ‘You’re a crook, you did this, you did that,’” he added. “For me, they’re talking about pudding, and I’m like, ‘Is that really the best you’ve got? OK, bring it on!’”

“It’s quite interesting that the governor didn’t flat out deny eating pudding with three fingers,” an ex-staffer for Mr DeSantis told The Daily Beast.

Mr DeSantis can often be found in a corner by himself at fundraisers or in other exclusive venues, eschewing the traditional political gladhanding, according to the report.

This may become an issue as most candidates in the early primary states in any presidential cycle rely on retail politics.

Mr DeSantis’s worries about meeting with voters and the unplanned interactions that may entail have prompted early primary state organizers to attempt to lay the groundwork to make their events easier for the governor to handle, according to The Daily Beast.

But they rarely know what the governor wants, because, as one longtime event host in an early primary state told The Daily Beast, he has “easily the least responsive campaign I’ve ever dealt with”.

“We invite, invite, invite, ping, ping, ping. We don’t hear anything,” the host added.

When he was recently in Iowa, it was reported that Mr DeSantis’s team used bike racks to create space between him and attendees.

The New York Times wrote that the governor was “awkward, but still winning the crowd” during his visit to the state.

A Republican strategist told The Daily Beast that Mr DeSantis’ early campaign indicated a “Tallahassee basement strategy, mirroring that of Biden in 2020, where he hides from press and real voters”.

Mr Biden spent large parts of the 2020 campaign at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Multiple former staffers have said that nearly everything the governor does is scripted.

Stories of the governor earing during meetings have also surfaced.

“He would sit in meetings and eat in front of people, always like a starving animal who has never eaten before… getting s*** everywhere,” one ex-staffer told The Daily Beast.

This is where the pudding enters the fray.

Two people told The Daily Beast that Mr DeSantis enjoyed a chocolate pudding by eating it with three of his fingers during a March 2019 private flight from Tallahassee to Washington, DC.