‘Stoned’ DeSantis canvasser’s lewd rant caught on doorbell camera as 2024 campaign rushes to cut costs

Ron DeSantis has struggled to gain traction in the GOP primary as Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks

David Taintor,Ariana Baio
Monday 17 July 2023 15:27 BST
Ron DeSantis says wife Casey is proud to be ‘America’s Karen’

Ron DeSantis’ campaign is facing a number of obstacles just months into the Florida governor’s efforts to make himself stand out among the crowded 2024 GOP field.

Over the last week, Mr DeSantis’ campaign has dismissed a number of staffers in an effort to trim costs just as a canvasser, working on behalf of a super PAC, has come under fire.

On Friday, a canvasser advocating for Mr DeSantis’ campaign through Never Back Down was captured on a Ring doorbell using vulgar language while claiming they were under the influence of drugs.

While knocking on someone’s door, the canvasser said if the homeowner did not respond well to his pitch for DeSantis he would tell them to “eat my balls” and then added he was “a little stoned”.

The Independent has reached out to Never Back Down for comment.

The canvasser was dismissed from the $100m field effort, Never Back Down told The Washington Post.

But the incident comes just as Mr DeSantis’ campaign also had to let approximately 10 staffers go in recent days, Politico first reported.

Despite cruising to re-election in Florida on a hardline conservative agenda, Mr DeSantis has struggled to gain traction in the GOP primary. He consistently trails Donald Trump in polls as the former president has increased his attacks on Mr DeSantis.

Some of the staffers may join an outside group affiliated with the DeSantis campaign, according to the report.

Campaign manager Generra Peck is under scrutiny for early staffing decisions, according to NBC News.

“They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high,” a GOP source told the network. “People warned the campaign manager but she wanted to hear none of it.”

The DeSantis campaign said the moves will allow the campaign to be more “nimble”.

“Americans are rallying behind Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failures and restore sanity to our nation, and his momentum will only continue as voters see more of him in person, especially in Iowa,” Andrew Romeo, an aide to Mr DeSantis’ campaign, said in a statement to The New York Times.

“Defeating Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him will require a nimble and candidate-driven campaign, and we are building a movement to go the distance.”

Mr DeSantis has focused his attention on Iowa in recent weeks as the crucial first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses are less than six months away.

Paid canvassers, like the one seen in the Ring doorbell footage, went through an eight-day training course in Iowa to then begin knocking on doors.

According to The Washington Post, more than 700,000 doors have been knocked on in Iowa alone as of Thursday and canvassers have gathered 7,246 “Commit to Caucus” cards.

The Florida governor has even told reporters that he would consider Iowa governor Kim Reynolds as a running mate.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in