DeSantis criticized for berating students for wearing masks; hits back with new campaign video

Reporter: Sydney Persing
Published: Updated:

Governor Ron DeSantis is taking his viral moment and turning it into a political campaign.

The controversial video showed the governor telling high school students to take their masks off at a press conference, saying, “You do not have to wear those masks, I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we gotta stop with this COVID theatre. So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is a, this is ridiculous.”

The governor’s critics came at him hard and fast. But just as hard and fast, DeSantis flipped the script and turned that viral video into a COVID theater campaign video.

When the curtain opens DeSantis takes us to Washington where he goes after a maskless President Joe Biden at the State of the Union. And a maskless California Governor Gavin Newsom at the Super Bowl with Magic Johnson.

Political Scientist Aubrey Jewett was not surprised when he saw the video – why?

“Governor DeSantis and his team know that it’s better to be on the offensive. And so they attack,” he explained. “They know that the base of supporters that they have likes that about Governor DeSantis, that he doesn’t just take attacks, he hits back.”

Desantis has hit back against COVID criticism before. He did it with another campaign video targetting Chief Medical Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci. And he did it with a PowerPoint presentation targeting 60 minutes.

“Every time the media picks up on a story, and it’s critical of the governor, in sometimes very legitimately, maybe sometimes not occasionally, it helps among his base,” Jewitt explained.

What about the governor’s critics?

Jewett told me the video won’t change a single mind, but it will energize the DeSantis’ base and help rake in even more money.

All three major Democratic candidates for governor reacted to the original video of DeSantis telling the high school student to take off their masks, and called the governor a “bully”.

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