President Joe Biden visited Florida to assess the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, but 2024 Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opted not to meet with him.
DeSantis said he was concerned that a meeting with the president could be “very disruptive” to recovery efforts, according to the New York Post.
During a press conference on Friday morning, DeSantis said that he had spoken with Biden over the phone and warned him that his visit might cause significant disruptions in the hardest-hit communities. He said his concern was primarily focused on the potential congestion of rural roadways due to the presence of the White House’s extensive security apparatus, according to Politico.
While it could be extrapolated that part of the reason DeSantis snubbed Biden is that the two of them are now political rivals, vying for the presidency, it is also fair to consider how Biden handled the wildfire tragedy in Maui.
Biden’s Hawaii visit undoubtedly did more harm than good, infuriating the devastated residents of the island as he attempted to “comfort” them by joking about the “hot ground” and telling them an exaggerated story about a kitchen fire. “I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat,” he told the audience.
“Bro is sightseeing and trying to be comic relief for the tour. No sense of what has happened there at all,” one X, formerly called Twitter, user tweeted.
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One can’t blame DeSantis for trying to avoid another such disaster while attempting to deal with the aftermath of Idalia.
By all accounts, DeSantis is a very capable governor and has been doing a good job helping the state get back to normal as fast as possible.
According to Justin Sayfie, a Republican lobbyist and DeSantis fundraiser, “So far, Gov. DeSantis has done an exceptional job pre-, during and post-hurricane, and that is being noted by voters in Florida and across the country,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
As his motorcade passed by to chants of “Let’s go, Brandon. F*** Joe Biden,” the people of Florida let the president know pretty clearly what they think of him.
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And of course as usual, Biden couldn’t help make inappropriate jokes on Thursday when he addressed the hurricane, which didn’t help the situation.
Staying far, far away from the Biden blooper reel may have been the safest thing for DeSantis.
It may have been the best thing for Florida as well, but unfortunately, they had to deal with it.