Four Fox News personalities will speak at a Florida Republican Party fundraiser featuring Gov. Ron DeSantis. The speaking engagements come as DeSantis is testing the water for a 2024 run for president that would play out on Fox News’ programming.
According to the Florida GOP, Fox News host Mark Levin and Fox News contributors Lisa Boothe, Mollie Hemingway, and Karol Markowicz will be “featured speakers” at the Sunshine Summit and Victory Dinner, which is being held on July 22-23 in Hollywood, Florida. Also appearing at the event is DeSantis, Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer, and frequent Fox News guests Dave Rubin and Clay Travis, among others. The event is a fundraiser for the Florida GOP.
The Fox News employees will be participating in the fundraiser despite the network’s statement in November 2018 that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” That policy was certainly not implemented before that statement and has been enforced inconsistently at best since then, as Media Matters has exhaustively documented.
Levin is the host of the weekend program Life, Liberty & Levin. He has repeatedly spoken at Republican fundraisers and stated that Fox’s supposed policy against campaign events does not apply to him. (The cantankerous Fox News host has angrily criticized Media Matters for reporting on his Republican campaigning.) Levin’s speaking role, which appears to be alongside DeSantis, is in addition to his moderation of two congressional primary debates during that event.
Boothe is a strong supporter of DeSantis. She has said that “DeSantis is the future of the Republican Party” and tweeted on the morning of January 6, 2021: “DeSantis/Noem 2024.” On July 11, she wrote: “So excited to be a speaker at the @FloridaGOP’s Sunshine Summit with my Governor @RonDeSantisFL. I will be co-hosting the event alongside my friend @RubinReport. I love being a Floridian! Go to sunshinesummit.org to get your tickets today!” Politico recently reported that she attended a DeSantis-organized event that featured prominent Republican politicians and other “conservative media influencers.”
Fox News has had a cozy relationship with the Florida governor, who is a frequent presence on the network. During the 2018 election cycle, Fox News host Sean Hannity spoke at three events for DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).