One of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ challengers in this year’s gubernatorial race faced significant backlash online on New Year’s Eve over a tweet that some interpreted as a cheap shot at DeSantis, who recently accompanied his wife to her cancer treatment as critics claimed he was missing in action.
“As governor, I’ll show up,” Democrat Nikki Fried tweeted.
As governor, I’ll show up.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) January 1, 2022
Fried’s tweet came after Florida Democrats and others recently suggested that DeSantis had gone missing because, as they claimed, he had not been seen in public in roughly two weeks.
DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, debunked those claims when she tweeted out screenshots of his public schedule that show his activities as governor.
Notable responses to Fried included:
- Erick Erickson, radio host: “The Governor was with his wife for her cancer treatment. This is gross stuff. He showed up where it mattered most. It kills me I can’t go with my wife to her oncology visits because of hospital guidelines. I’m glad DeSantis was able to be with his wife.”
- John Cardillo, political commentator: “This trash lowlife knows DeSantis was with his wife at her cancer treatment. Hey @NikkiFriedFL , remember when you showed up at Ft. Lauderdale PD and abused your office to cover the domestic between you and your now fiancé?”
- Liz Mair, political strategist: “Nikki Fried placing a LOT of bets here that the online left has got it right in claiming DeSantis wasn’t really with his wife for cancer treatment… and I don’t think we have a Sanford situation here so the odds look pretty long for her…Charlie Crist probably thrilled with this tweet and where this could all be headed, quite frankly.”
- Curtis Houck, editor: “Attacking a guy for going to his wife’s cancer treatments to own the cons[ervatives].”
- Christina Pushaw, DeSantis press secretary: “But if someone you love gets cancer, you wouldn’t show up to their treatments? Wow.”
- Travis Wester, political commentator: “Referring to being there for your spouse during her cancer treatment as ‘giving up’ is the kind of cheap shot that makes the vote a referendum on you, not your opponent. Good luck Nikki.”
Fried was not the only one to face backlash for making remarks aimed at DeSantis’ whereabouts.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) faced backlash on Friday evening after she responded to DeSantis’ campaign, which welcomed her to the state as she fled there while the city she represents saw a historic number of new coronavirus cases.
“Welcome to Florida, AOC!” DeSantis’ campaign said. “We hope you’re enjoying a taste of freedom here in the Sunshine State thanks to @RonDeSantisFL’s leadership.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded by suggesting without evidence that DeSantis had “been inexplicably missing for like 2 weeks,” before saying that she wanted to “help with local organizing” in Florida.