Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis had solid words for Democrats who tried to connect him to a Nazi movement rally last weekend. Several Democrats made public shows of their demands that DeSantis denounce the gathering even though the group had no connection to his Administration or Florida Republicans.
The controversy arose after around 20 people wore Nazi insignia and waved flags at people passing by while shouting anti-Semitic insults outside an Orlando shopping center on Saturday. Police arrived on the scene, and the group left without any arrests.
DeSantis defended himself against baseless attacks from Democrats about the occurrence during a public appearance at an event for an Everglades restoration project. About the smears against him, he said he is “not playing their game.” He said the Democrats who were trying to act as if he were involved in some way with the neo-Nazis were attempting to create a political issue out of thin air.
The Governor described the Nazi protesters as “jackasses” and said that law enforcement officers from the state level would get involved to hold them responsible for any laws that may have been broken.
DeSantis said that he was not going to stand for smears from Democrats who have “elevated anti-Semites to the halls of Congress.” He mentioned Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by name. He said that Democrats have party members who have “cavorted with Farrakhan,” referring to the notorious black supremacist and leader of the Nation of Islam.
He went on to say that he planned to rely on his record in Florida and listed some of the state’s policies his Administration has put in place that destroy claims that he is anti-Semitic. He added that Democrats want to promote the images of the “malcontents” who demonstrated to distract from the failures of the Biden Administration.
DeSantis established a record of being strongly supportive of Israel during his three terms in Congress. During his 2018 run for Governor, they said he would be the “most pro-Israel” Governor in the United States.