Screenshot: CNN

Last night saw CNN host a debate between Florida gubernatorial candidates Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis. And as has become typical of his campaign, DeSantis stepped all over his own dick when someone put a camera in front of his face.

DeSantis was asked by moderator Jake Tapper if he thought President Donald Trump, whose endorsement helped him win the Republican primary, was “a good role model for the children of Florida.”

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Pretty simple question, right? DeSantis chose to respond with a quick aside referencing a campaign ad where he literally tries to teach his daughter how to “build the wall” with blocks, before launching into a weird, nonsensical answer about...Israel:

Well, Jake, my wife and I were poking a little fun at ourselves because of the way the campaign was going and I’m proud of my family though. I don’t actually read “The Art of the Deal” to my son Mason, he’s a great kid and he smiles at anything, but that’s not necessarily his cup of tea.

OK, thanks for clarifying that.

Here’s what I know. I was very passionate about moving our American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Andrew opposed that, a couple of months ago he said it was a mistake, we shouldn’t recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Every president for 25 years has promised that on campaign trail; once in office, they didn’t do it. Donald Trump promised it, and he followed through with it. So to me, when you give your word and you follow through with it as an elected official, that is the model that we’re supposed to do.

He was right to move the embassy to Jerusalem, I was there for a historic event, I know Andrew didn’t support that and doesn’t think that’s right, but to me, that was true leadership.

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Did you get that? Trump is a good role model for children because he moved an embassy, a decision which was purely symbolic but ultimately resulted in protests and the deaths of dozens of people at the hands of the Israeli military.

Gillum was taken aback by the answer and asked Tapper to clarify what the question was, before responding in a much more direct fashion:

No, he’s not. Donald Trump is weak. And he performs as all weak people do: they become bullies and Mr. DeSantis is his acolyte. He’s trying out to be the Trump apprentice at every turn. He’s tweeting at him and he’s talking to him. He’s showing up. He’s complimenting him. And let me tell you, listen—my disgust for the president and his behavior actually will have nothing to do with whether or not—if Trump tries to send us money as President Obama tried to send to the state of Florida to build high speed rail across the I-4 corridor...if Trump tries to send me that $2.6, I’m going to take it, bring it to the state of Florida and put the people of the state of Florida to work.

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DeSantis better come up with some better answers quick. With a little over two weeks to go until the election, polls show him trailing Gillum.