A top spokesperson for Ron DeSantis's presidential campaign claimed he was being brutally honest when he said the Florida governor is "way behind" and faces an "uphill battle."
Steve Cortes made the remarks during a Twitter spaces conversation on Sunday evening. Cortes, a spokesperson for DeSantis's Presidential Action Committee, previously worked on Donald Trump's 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. During the Twitter talk, Cortes admitted Trump remains a juggernaut within the Republican base and referred to him as the "clear frontrunner," according to Politico.
“In the first four states which matter tremendously, polls are a lot tighter, we are still clearly down," Cortes said. "We’re down double digits, we have work to do.”
Cortes also admits that DeSantis is "way behind" in national polls.
His personal story also involves a stint working as a Navy lawyer at the Guantánamo prison camp in Cuba, where questions have swirled about what truly went down during his time there.
Adding to DeSantis's problems as a candidate is his deficiency in debate, another thing Cortes admitted on Sunday.
“Is Ron the debater that Trump is?” he said. “No, no he isn’t.”
“Absolutely Donald Trump is the maestro of it right, no doubt about it, right. When he gets on the debate stage, you know, and on his feet, in front of a microphone, he debates like Jack Nicklaus played golf, there’s no doubt about it.”
Cortes also seemed to be laying the groundwork for a graceful exit should DeSantis's campaign collapse: “If we do not prevail — and I have every intent on winning, I didn’t sign up for this to come in second — but if we do not prevail I will tell you this, we will make President Trump better for having this kind of primary,"
PACs for both DeSantis and Trump have sunk millions into the 2024 presidential primary, but Trump is swamping DeSantis. Trump's PAC has spent about $23 million on his campaign, according to Reuters, which reports most of that money has gone into ads attacking DeSantis. The governor's PAC recently reported spending about $7 million since he entered the race in May.