Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday fired back at Democratic opponent Charlie Crist after Crist trashed Sunshine State voters who support DeSantis.
After winning his primary Tuesday, Crist had scoffed at the notion of wanting or needing DeSantis backers as the general election approaches.
“Those who support DeSantis should stay with him and vote for him and I don’t want your vote. If you have that hate in your heart, keep it there,” Crist said.
Freedom is on the line this November — and our bold agenda for parental rights in education, safe communities, a vibrant economy, and a protected environment is vital to keeping the state of Florida free. pic.twitter.com/EwTCDjkl1W
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) August 24, 2022
“I want the vote of the people of Florida who care about our state — good Democrats, good independents, good Republicans,” Crist said, adding that he sought unity.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson hooted at the comment when DeSantis appeared on his show Wednesday night.
The video is below:
“He doesn’t want your vote. You’re morally beneath him. I’ve never seen a politician say that,” Carlson said about the 3:15 mark.
Crist, a current congressman for Florida’s 12th Congressional District, is a former Republican who started his political career in the early 1990s as a state senator, according to his congressional biography. He then served as the state’s education commissioner before being elected Florida attorney general in 2002, earning a reputation as “Chain Gang Charlie” for being tough on prison inmates, as Axios reported.
Crist left the Republican Party after losing the 2010 Senate primary to upcoming politician Marco Rubio and ran for the Senate as an independent but lost to Rubio in a three-way race.
He joined the Democratic Party in 2012 and ran for governor again in 2014, winning his new party’s nomination but losing to Gov. Rick Scott, who was seeking a second term. In 2016, he ran for Congress as a Democrat, and won.
In 2021, in his third term in Congress, he announced he was running for governor again. Now, he’s a progressive Democrat.
“This is his fifth decade running for office, he’s a chameleon, typical career politician,” DeSantis told Carlson.
DeSantis then responded to Crist’s slam by saying voters support politicians with accomplishments.
“You know, Tucker, people support me because I kept the state open and protected their jobs. Charlie Crist wanted it locked down. So that’s not hate in their heart. They’re just appreciative that they had a governor who was standing up for them,” he said.
“Parents around the state support me because we made sure schools were open and we’re working to make sure that [students] get education, not indoctrination,” he said. “That’s not hate in their heart, they’re just appreciative they have a governor that’s fighting for them.”
Carlson then got in a dig at Crist.
“It’s kind of weird to see Charlie Crist look down his nose at voters. Is there anyone in the state who is more morally suspect than Charlie Crist who’s registered to vote that you’re aware of?”
“I think he is not one to be casting stones,” DeSantis said.
“What he says, he claims, that he wants to unify Florida. He says he wants a Florida for all? And then you condemn a majority of people in the state of Florida? Give me a break.”
DeSantis, who has made parental rights and parental control over their children’s education a cornerstone of his administration, said his policies do not serve one narrow interest group.
“And the thing about what I’ve done is — you know, we’ve done issues that people across the spectrum have been able to agree with and that’s really what it’s all about. It’s not hating the other side, it’s trying to have policies that a majority can agree with,” he said.
On Tuesday, Florida voters gave a referendum of sorts on the governor, who backed 30 candidates for various school boards. Of those, 21 appeared to be winning outright on election night, four advanced to a runoff and five lost.
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