10 Questions CNN Should Ask Ron DeSantis

By Mark Jacob

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday afternoon – his first such sit-down with CNN since he announced his presidential campaign.

Both DeSantis and CNN have a lot at stake. DeSantis’ campaign has been struggling, and CNN is still trying to get viewers to forget its disastrous town hall with Donald Trump in May.

Here are 10 questions CNN should ask DeSantis:

  1. On Sunday, you indicated that while you opposed cuts in Social Security benefits for current seniors, you were open to cuts “for people in their 30s or 40s.” Don’t you think people who are less than two decades away from retirement should be uneasy about talk like that?
  2. In March 2022, you described the wearing of masks as “Covid theater” that was “not doing anything” to prevent the spread of disease. This goes against research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others. Why do you reject scientific findings on this issue?
  3. Last year you said of former chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci: “Someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.” Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to urge violence against Fauci, especially after he’s been the target of death threats?
  4. Why was it in the best interest of Florida taxpayers to spend $615,000 of the state’s money to fly nearly 50 undocumented immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts?
  5. Why have you declared political war against your state’s largest employer, Disney, to such an extent that it cancelled a $1 billion development that would have created 2,000 jobs?
  6. You’ve led a movement that has resulted in the banning of hundreds of books in Florida schools, including novels by acclaimed writers Toni Morrison, Kurt Vonnegut and Margaret Atwood. Did books harm you when you were a child?
  7. Your role as a Navy lawyer at the Guantanamo prison has raised questions. You admitted in 2018 that you were among the people who suggested force-feeding suspected terrorists there, a practice that many human rights group consider torture. A former detainee claims that you attended his force-feeding session. In April, you angrily called that “BS.” What role exactly did you play in the force-feeding of prisoners at Gitmo?
  8. Your campaign recently posted a homophobic video casting you as a warrior against LGBTQ people. After widespread criticism, the video was taken down. Do you have any LGBTQ friends?
  9. You have been very evasive about whether you agree with Donald Trump that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, despite all the evidence that Joe Biden in fact won a fair election. Do you think Biden was legitimately elected?
  10. (If DeSantis evades the question yet again …) Do you think Joe Biden was legitimately elected? We’re going to keep asking that question until you answer it, even if we have to skip the next commercial break.
Mark Jacob, a former metro editor at the Chicago Tribune and co-author of eight books, is a consultant for Courier Newsroom.