Elise Stefanik Uses DeSantis Debate Memo To Pressure Him to Drop Out

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the House GOP Conference chair, reacted to the news on Thursday of a memo from a pro-DeSantis PAC appearing online that advised the Florida governor to “defend” Trump during the upcoming primary debate.

“As a former debate prepper, the first and most obvious rule of debate prep is don’t leak the debate prep memo,” Stefanik wrote while sharing the story from the New York Times.

Notably, the memo was not leaked, but posted online by a website affiliated with the Never Back Down PAC’s chief strategist. PACs are not allowed to directly coordinate with their candidate, and sometimes will post information publicly online as an indirect way of getting it to the campaign.

“This is absolute malpractice. And as I have said from the very beginning, President Trump is going to steamroll the entire field. There is no real primary and we need to focus on defeating Joe Biden to save America,” Stefanik concluded, heavily suggesting Ron DeSantis and the other GOP presidential candidates should clear the field for Trump.

The Times reported Thursday that the documents included “four basic must-dos” for DeSantis, who is referred to in the memo as “GRD,” at the debate.

“1. Attack Joe Biden and the media 3-5 times. 2. State GRD’s positive vision 2-3 times. 3. Hammer Vivek Ramaswamy in a response. 4. Defend Donald Trump in absentia in response to a Chris Christie attack,” one of the key memos reads.

The memo even goes so far as to offer DeSantis some specific lines. “Trump isn’t here, so let’s just leave him alone. He’s too weak to defend himself here. We’re all running against him. I don’t think we want to join forces with someone on this stage who’s auditioning for a show on MSNBC,” the memo suggests DeSantis say in response to former New Jersey Gov. Christie attacking Trump.

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