On Meet the Press this weekend, moderator Chuck Todd summed up the Republican gubernatorial primary in three words: “It’s been bizarre.”
During a panel discussion on the power of Donald Trump in Republicans primaries, Todd and GOP strategist Mike Murphy noted that candidates like Ron DeSantis are no longer talking about the issues — like job creation — and instead are running campaigns based entirely on displaying fealty to Trump.
It’s a “problematic” strategy that former Florida Republican Al Cardenas has called “high risk” and has many Republicans concerned that they will lose in November. Watch:
MIKE MURPHY: In the old days, when ideological issues drove the Republican primary, the tax hit would be a devastating one in a Republican primary. But now, because it’s all Trump all the time, and issues have been pushed out for this cult of personality, think about this. You have a guy running in the Republican primary for governor of Florida.
CHUCK TODD: Right.
MIKE MURPHY: A state surrounded by oceans, talking about federally building a wall essentially in Texas. And guess what, in the primary, it’s going to work.
CHUCK TODD: It’s been bizarre. It’s totally flipped the script. Adam Putnam, who is–
MIKE MURPHY: Yeah.
CHUCK TODD: He’s been running for governor his whole adult life. This was his moment. And one Trump tweet.