Fox News Gave Ron DeSantis $9.3 Million in Free Airtime, His Campaign Says

August 29, 2018, 5:46 PM UTC
Donald Trump Holds Make America Great Again Rally In Tampa
President Donald Trump stands with GOP Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis during the president's Make America Great Again Rally at the Florida State Fair Grounds Expo Hall on July 31, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. Joe Raedle Getty Images
Joe Raedle—Getty Images

On Tuesday, Ron DeSantis was declared the winner in Florida’s republican gubernatorial primary, facing off against the state’s agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam. According to his campaign, DeSantis’s win was, in no small part, thanks to the $9.3 million in free airtime the campaign received from Fox News, Politico reported.

As a representative of Florida’s 6th congressional district, DeSantis has voted with Trump 94% of the time, making him a favorite of the president, according to FiveThirtyEight. “Trump is going all out for DeSantis because he gets 100 percent of his news from Fox, and he knows DeSantis has gone to bat for him, and he knows Florida is important,” said Trump adviser Roger Stone.

Sure enough, after seeing the congressman on Fox News last December, Trump endorsed DeSantis in a tweet. “Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!,” the president wrote.

Since receiving the endorsement from the president on December 22, DeSantis made 121 appearances on Fox and Fox Business, according to Politico. His campaign estimates that this amount of airtime would have cost the $9.3 million to purchase.

While Putnam was attending community events with Floridians to discuss issues facing the state, DeSantis reached the more than 4.5 million republican Florida voters on TV, talking about Washington politics, and coming to the defense of the president.

“It’s sort of the like the Florida guy versus the Fox guy, and we’re going to see if that’s sufficient anymore,” Tallahassee-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson told the Chicago Tribune.