If Andrew Gillum wins the Democratic nomination for governor, he wants to face Ron DeSantis in the general election.
That's according to a campaign memo obtained by the Tampa Bay Times that outlines the kind of candidate the progressive Tallahassee mayor wants to face in a hypothetical general election.
DeSantis fits the bill.
"Ron DeSantis is the kind of match up we are looking for this November: a right-wing ultra-conservative, member of Congress, backed publicly by Donald Trump and his billionaire friends," chief strategist Scott Arceneaux wrote to campaign manager Brendan McPhillips and communications director Geoff Burgan. (Gillum recently drew some press coverage for big money donations he's received from the progressive billionaire George Soros.)
A DeSantis-Gillum matchup would be ideal because DeSantis would "energize our base, even beyond Trump," the memo reads.
Brad Herold, a DeSantis campaign spokesman, said, "If Andrew Gillum thinks that an Iraq veteran and top conservative like Ron DeSantis is a weaker candidate than a career politician like Adam Putnam, he may actually be a worse candidate than he is a mayor."
According to the memo, the Gillum campaign believes President Donald Trump's recent endorsement of DeSantis will hurt the congressman more than it will help him.
"We want the Republican nominee to embrace Trump and own his presidency," Arceneaux wrote. (Gillum has previously called for Trump's impeachment.)
The document also laid out a few points of strategic emphasis for a theoretical Gillum-Desantis matchup. Under a section called "Extreme Attacks on President Obama," Arceneaux wrote that DeSantis once said that "Obama's face should be placed on food stamps."
At a GOP candidate forum for Florida's 6th congressional district in May 2012, DeSantis "said Obama has a big ego, but there's not room for him on Mount Rushmore or the $1, $5 or $10 bill," according to a Daytona Beach News-Journal recap of the event.
"A good place for him to be is on the food stamp," DeSantis said, according to the paper. "It's funny, but the thing is, we've seen millions of more people up on dependency programs."
When asked about DeSantis' 2012 statement, Herold called the expansion of food stamp enrollment under Obama a "major policy failure." (Food stamp enrollment grew by over 11 million people under Obama — and over 14 million under the previous president, George W. Bush.)
"Andrew Gillum's corruption-tinged, big government liberalism has been bad for Tallahassee and would be a disaster for Florida," Herold said.