Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have each grabbed the attention of national Republicans. Abbott runs the nation’s largest Republican state, and DeSantis has presided over a red shift in the nation’s third-largest state.
But according to reports, it’s not all sunshine in the Sunshine State. The two governors have reportedly been involved in a cold feud, the media is claiming.
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Earlier this month, DeSantis sent a bus to Texas, 950 miles away from his governor’s mansion in Florida. He filled the bus with asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, and then he sent it to Massachusetts.
However, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appears to have remained in the dark. No one in Abbott’s office received notice of DeSantis’ plans to fill the buses in Texas, insiders told The New York Times.
“Publicly, Mr. Abbott has not criticized Mr. DeSantis’ migrant flights from his state,” the Times reported in a bombshell feature. “But privately, the Florida governor’s gambit stung Mr. Abbott’s team.”
The two governors have sparred over the border before.
Last year, both the Texas governor and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey were requesting assistance from other states amid a surge of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants at the border.
DeSantis responded by sending law enforcement officers and low-water boats ideal for the Rio Grande.
“Every state that wants to help, I’m happy for it,” Abbott strategist Dave Carney told Times.
Eventually, DeSantis himself visited the officers in Texas, and he met Abbott during the trip.
The two governors showed little interpersonal chemistry. For example, they talked over one another awkwardly at the start of the conference.
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While speaking to donors last year, DeSantis has described Abbott as fortunate for having the opportunity to manage the border, one insider told the Times. Florida does not share a border with Mexico.
Abbott and DeSantis have apparently tried to one-up each other on other issues, too.
“In August 2020, Mr. Abbott proposed legislation to punish cities in Texas that took funding away from police departments by preventing them from raising more property tax revenue. The following month, Mr. DeSantis went further, saying he would seek to cut state funding from municipalities that defunded the police,” the Times reported.
Team Abbott has cited the border initiative as evidence of his goodwill toward DeSantis.
“Governor Abbott and Governor DeSantis have a solid working relationship, having worked together on various initiatives through Republican governors organizations,” Abbott press secretary Renae Eze told the Times.
Team DeSantis has yet to publicly comment on the report.
The Horn editorial team