Florida Governor Ron DeSantis attempted to reassure his increasingly worried donors and activists about the stalling pace of his campaign for president.
The memo, obtained by NBC News, detailed the DeSantis campaign’s more reserved path forward as he falls further behind former President Donald Trump following a series of stumbles.
It’s dated July 6th and labeled a “confidential friends and family update” that is “not for distribution” due to its in-depth discussion of campaign strategy.
DeSantis will focus almost entirely on early states, including New Hampshire, which has been a disaster for the governor since he announced his presidential run.
His campaign said it will not give up on the state and will divert resources from Super Tuesday states to make gains in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
“While Super Tuesday is critically important, we will not dedicate resources to Super Tuesday that slow our momentum in New Hampshire,” the memo states. “We expect to revisit this investment in the Fall.”
Although the memo presents a strong front, those within the campaign are aware it needs a turnaround as soon as possible.
“From my understanding, if we don’t see a bump in the polls, we are basically going to shut down the idea of a national operation,” a DeSantis-aligned operative said.
“If you want to beat Trump, you have to run the table in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina,” said another veteran presidential campaign operative who is sympathetic to DeSantis.
Memo Mentions Other Candidates
Besides Trump, the memo mentions South Carolina Senator Tim Scott as a rising threat, though it largely dismisses him as well as the rest of the candidates running.
“While Tim Scott has earned a serious look at this stage, his bio is lacking the fight that our electorate is looking for in the next President.”
“We expect Tim Scott to receive appropriate scrutiny in the weeks ahead. We’ve found low to no interest in Vivek, Burgum, and Nikki while far too many voters will not consider Pence and Christie for them to feel remotely viable.”