DeSantis Cancels Network News Interviews Ahead Of New Hampshire

After campaigning extensively across Iowa only to come in third place behind front-runner Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems to have all but conceded defeat in the upcoming New Hampshire primary.

Although he scheduled a campaign event in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday, his campaign has otherwise essentially abandoned the state in favor of South Carolina.

DeSantis also canceled a pair of network news interviews scheduled for two days before the primary.

The CNN program “State of the Union” confirmed the news in a social media post late Saturday.

Kristen Welker, the moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” posted a similar announcement citing a campaign source who blamed the decision on a “last-minute schedule change.”

Press secretary Bryan Griffin asserted that the interviews will be rescheduled for a later date, adding: “The governor will be traveling Sunday morning with the campaign and has public events scheduled Sunday evening through Tuesday in NH.”

With Trump the heavy favorite to secure his third-straight presidential nomination, South Carolina is widely seen as a do-or-die primary of both Haley — who is from the state — and DeSantis.

Furthermore, DeSantis is polling significantly higher in South Carolina than he is in New Hampshire, where he is expected to finish in third place.

The Florida governor is clearly targeting Haley’s home state as his best chance to gain ground against his primary rivals.

“I think clearly if you look at this constituency, this is a great constituency for me,” he said while in South Carolina over the weekend. “It’s a veteran-heavy state, a military-heavy state. It’s a conservative state.”

Despite having deep ties to the state, DeSantis argued that there are “just too many conservative voters here for someone like Nikki Haley to win the state.”

Nevertheless, he rejected the notion that his campaign has given up on New Hampshire.
During a recent Fox News Channel appearance, he explained: “So we went to South Carolina, knocked out a couple of events, and then did what we were planning to do in New Hampshire. That was somehow caricatured as ‘skipping’ New Hampshire when it wasn’t. It was adding South Carolina in addition to that.”