Fox News was there to help one of Trump's staunchest defenders in Florida.
Fox News teamed up with Trump to help a fierce White House loyalist, and someone who habitually smears the FBI, become the Republican nominee for governor in Florida on Tuesday.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) won the Republican primary, thanks to Trump, who endorsed him, and to Fox News, which basically bent over backward to help the congressman’s campaign.
After Trump endorsed the Republican conspiracy theorist back in December, DeSantis went on to make “121 appearances on Fox and Fox Business — his campaign estimates it would have cost his campaign $9.3 million to purchase all that air time,” Politico reports.
“It’s impossible to overstate the value of a steady stream of Fox appearances among Florida Republicans: 70 percent of likely Florida GOP voters regularly watch Fox News and Fox Business channels, according to the DeSantis campaign’s polling,” Politico concluded.
At his victory rally Tuesday night, DeSantis made sure to thank Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin for their campaign support.
DeSantis has been among the loudest and least ethical Trump defenders over the last year, as he joined Trump in actively trying to undermine faith in U.S. law enforcement. He’s called special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe a “very dangerous” investigation.
Echoing Fox News, he also signed off on a letter to the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton, James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, among others.
Nonetheless, the DeSantis blueprint seems to represent the future of the Republican Party. He waged a relentless, fact-free campaign against law enforcement in hopes of trying to inoculate Trump from scandal. Trump noticed DeSantis’ cable news appearances, turned around and endorsed him, while Fox News then agreed to provide DeSantis with endless free airtime to reach voters.
Within the bubble of Republican politics, that represents a sure-fire way for advancement.
Whether DeSantis’ sycophantic devotion to Trump will work in November’s general election remains to be seen.