Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, one of the moderators of the fourth Republican presidential primary debate, was caught on a hot mic appearing to mock the appearance of Florida governor Ron DeSantis alongside her panellists.
Just over an hour into a post-debate live stream on her YouTube channel on Wednesday, Ms Kelly was discussing how she approached crafting questions for Mr DeSantis during the debate, who has long been a distant second to Donald Trump with GOP voters this campaign.
“I really wanted to go to his failure to connect with voters, his failure to connect on retail politics,” she said. “In the, we just weren’t sure, you can’t craft a question like that without being very opinionated. It’s like me being, ‘You’re not a retail politics person. People don’t like you...and you’re lame.’ You can’t. You gotta stick to facts and his numbers are just so dreadful.”
Following these comments, the panellists watched clips of Mr DeSantis during the debate, including a few where he appears to have an uncomfortable facial expression.
As the clips were showing, a female voice can be heard making a remark about “that face,” while a male voice says, “Look at that face. Looks like he shot his dog.”
The Independent has contacted Ms Kelly for comment.
Mr DeSantis, initially seen as a potential challenger to Mr Trump, has suffered from a perceived awkwardness on the campaign trail, not seeming to absorb the spotlight like his rival the former president.
Instead, as The Washington Post once put it, Mr DeSantis has been accused of having “anti-charisma,” smiling painfully on stage and having awkward encounters with voters at events.
The hot mic moment isn’t the first memorable instance involving Ms Kelly at a presidential debate.
In 2015, she pressed then-candidate Donald Trump about his history of making sexist remarks during a Republican debate. Following the event, Mr Trump made national headlines and was roundly condemned as vulgar and sexist for accusing Ms Kelly of having “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever: during the debate.”