Republican star Ron DeSantis, the popular governor of Floria, was heavily criticized in the summer of 2020 for keeping the Sunshine State open for business while most the country was in strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
His election opponent, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, recently went on the offensive and compared DeSantis to a “wannabe dictator.”
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“I’m not one to use those sort of strong words, unless they’re true,” Crist said recently. “He’s a barbaric, wannabe dictator.”
When DeSantis was asked if he was a dictator by a reporter at a recent press conference, the crowd erupted in laughter — but DeSantis was dead serious in his response.
And his clever comeback quickly went viral.
“Over the last couple of years, you had people who kept wanting to lock people down,” DeSantis responded. “I was one of the few in this country that lifted people up.”
“We protected people’s freedoms, jobs, businesses. We made sure kids could be in school, and we liberated 22 million Floridians from local mandates and restrictions,” he continued. “We protected them against vax mandates so they could keep working.”
“And I would note, you go back to the summer of 2020, I got a letter from every Democrat member of the U.S. House saying: ‘You need to shut down Florida,’ in July of 2020,” he said. “If we had done that, this state would be in the toilet right now.”
“We made the right decision by keeping the state open,” DeSantis said. “So I think the people that are dictatorial are the ones that want to lock you down.”
“I think the people that are dictatorial are the ones who wanted to lock kids out of school for a year, which all of them wanted to do here in Florida and I stopped it and made sure the kids could be in school,” he said. “I think it’s dictatorial to say that someone should lose their job based on their choice about whether to get a COVID shot or not.”
“So that’s just the reality.”
Take a look for yourself —
Reporter to Governor DeSantis: "[Charlie Crist] says you're a dictator. How do you respond to that?"
His reaction is priceless 🤣 pic.twitter.com/ta6uiRmSEn
— DeSantis War Room (@DeSantisWarRoom) August 25, 2022
The Horn editorial team