DeSantis super PAC releases ad with no mention of Trump or indictment

Ron DeSantis
Republican presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the North Carolina Republican Party Convention in Greensboro, N.C., Friday, June 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton) Chuck Burton/AP

DeSantis super PAC releases ad with no mention of Trump or indictment

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A super PAC backing Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) released an ad on Thursday that touts the governor’s ability to fight against “fake media narratives.” It is set to run in Iowa and South Carolina, two crucial early-nominating states in the GOP primary calendar next year.

The 60-second ad never mentions former President Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, or the 37-count indictment he faces over allegations he mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House following the 2020 presidential election. The indictment has upended the 2024 presidential race, with President Joe Biden largely staying silent on Trump’s problems and Republicans divided on how to address Trump.


The “Punching Back” ad from the Never Back Down super PAC features clips of DeSantis slamming Democrats, activists, and reporters for pushing a “fake narrative” against him. This is the fourth ad that Never Back Down has released in recent months.

“I am not going to let the media smear what’s going on in Florida,” DeSantis says after a clip is shown of Tucker Carlson asking, “Who are the best governors in the country? We don’t really need to guess.”

Carlson also states that DeSantis is “succeeding” during the ad. “And if you’re the Democratic Party or its minions in the media, this is a huge problem. They’re probably going to try and take out DeSantis pretty soon,” Carlson continues.

DeSantis later declares at a press conference, “I know corporate media thinks that they can just run over people. You ain’t running over this governor.”

Before Trump’s indictment news broke, DeSantis and Never Back Down ramped up their attacks against the former president via ads, press release emails, and spats on social media. But after defending Trump when the Department of Justice unveiled the indictment last week, DeSantis remained mostly quiet, unlike other 2024 Republican candidates who have called Trump’s actions indefensible.

Yet the person DeSantis most needs to punch back against is the unmentioned former president.


Trump remains the front-runner in the race to become the GOP’s next standard-bearer, and any path to the presidential nomination requires DeSantis somehow besting the former president. Never Back Down has amassed a multimillion-dollar war chest to boost the governor in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, all early-voting states where DeSantis needs a strong showing if he wants to make a credible case for his presidential bid. DeSantis remains the most popular Republican candidate after Trump, according to polling.

The Never Back Down ad ends with DeSantis refusing to be cowed by his opponents. “I’m punching back. I’m gonna continue to do it until these smear merchants are held accountable. This is not over by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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