Remarks made by an MSNBC host about Casey DeSantis, spouse of the 2024 presidential candidate, have sparked a sort of war-of-words between the network and Fox News.
On Saturday, a discussion hosted by MSNBC and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart centred around a new advertisement released by the DeSantis campaign featuring Casey DeSantis stumping for her husband — and whether her persona and character would be found appealing by voters.
A former Republican congressman from Florida, Rep David Jolly, was invited to weigh in on the ad. He dubbed the first lady of Florida “America’s Karen”, and quipped: “It doesn’t matter if it’s presented in heels or boots, the DeSantis doctrine is a losing one.”
The cutting remarks elicited a reponse from Fox’s Brian Kilmeade, who argued that Ms DeSantis was “going to bat for moms and parents” by supporting her husband’s political agenda, which some experts have argued is leading to a whitewashing of US civil rights history in Florida’s schools.
Ignoring the “Karen” remark, he added: “[S]he is unbelievably eloquent behind the microphone. Even for a brocaster I think she is extraordinary, and she is great partner to the governor who wants to be president. People look at a candidate and they look at the spouse, too. Just like they look at a running mate whether you like it or not.”
Others on Fox were less diplomatic in their responses to MSNBC’s segment.
“This shows you just how pathetic some in this industry can be,” declared media columnist Joe Concha, formerly of The Hill, during an appearance on the network.
The Independent has reached out to the DeSantis campaign for comment.
Fox in particular has been an on-again, off-again ally for the Florida governor as he battles Donald Trump and a host of other Republicans for the 2024 GOP nomination.
While his policies and campaign speeches broadly get a warm reception by the network’s hosts, he has also faced awkward questions from Fox personalities during recent appearances over his stagnating poll numbers and his continued position in the primary: distantly in second place.
The right-leaning cable network is set to host the first televised live debate of the 2024 contest in August, though Mr Trump has not confirmed that he will attend. That hesitance has in turn led to Mr DeSantis declaring that he will likely not attend either should the former president bow out, as the Florida governor seeks to paint the contest as a two-person race — and his other GOP rivals as mere distractions.
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