Chances are you've seen a peculiar campaign video or two from American political candidates striving to stand out from the pack. On Monday, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis released a campaign video in which he played a game with his young daughter to "build the wall" — and a whole lot more.
DeSantis, a three-term congressman from the Sunshine State, is competing to succeed Florida Gov. Rick Scott. He's also been endorsed by the president himself. In his campaign video, DeSantis' wife makes this clear from the get-go.
"Everyone knows that my husband, Ron DeSantis, is endorsed by President Trump," his wife, Casey DeSantis, says. "But he's also an amazing dad."
The video cuts away to DeSantis building a wall of colorful blocks with his child. Here, the gubernatorial candidate encourages his young one to "Build the wall!"
But that's not all: Casey DeSantis then boasts that her husband loves reading stories to their children. One may expect to see DeSantis reading some children's book like Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are or Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, but he's actually poring over a Trump book with his young toddler. Here DeSantis is reading Trump's Art of The Deal. He even narrates it for his child with "Then Mr. Trump said, 'You're fired'" and praises it with a content "I love that part."
As the scene goes on, there's a line of text across the screen that labels DeSantis a "pitbull Trump defender."
Casey DeSantis also says in the campaign video that her husband is working on helping their daughter, Madison, learn to talk. But it's not "mom" or "dad" or any other key words that toddlers learn that the candidate is teaching his daughter — it's the president's slogan, "make America great again."
The Republican candidate's wife tells viewers that her husband isn't all about Trump, however. The video cuts away from Casey DeSantis to show the candidate by his son's crib, where he coos, "Big league, so good." DeSantis' toddler wears a "Make America Great Again" onesie while his father smiles at the camera.
DeSantis first announced his candidacy for governor in January. Before he even launched his campaign, in December, Trump tweeted, "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!"
His opponent, Democrat candidate Gwen Graham, criticizes him as "out of touch." On Twitter, Graham said, "While Ron DeSantis has dedicated himself to protecting Trump and becoming a Fox News star, we look forward to a debate on the issues that affect Florida families." It appears Graham isn't alone in her criticism of DeSantis: New York Magazine dubbed it a "disturbing" ad; on YouTube, the video has accrued more downvotes than upvotes.
POLITICO's senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian tweeted, "In the state that produced Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis has produced the Trumpiest ad of all." Perhaps the gubernatorial candidate intended it as a joke, but one thing's for sure: DeSantis garnered quite a lot of attention with this pro-Trump ad.