Democrats lashed out after Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that the passing of conservative talk show host and Palm Beach resident Rush Limbaugh would be honored in the state by ordering flags to be flown at half-staff.
“What we do when there’s things of this magnitude, once the date of interment for Rush is announced, we’re going to be lowering the flags to half-staff,” DeSantis said, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
DeSantis similarly ordered flags to be flown at half-staff following the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal, in September, the Times noted. Flags were also ordered lowered following the breach on the U.S. Capitol in January.
As noted by Business Insider, Democrats were outraged by the move to honor Limbaugh.
Democratic Florida State Sen. Gary Farmer slammed DeSantis for the order and ripped Limbaugh, who had died just days earlier from stage 4 lung cancer, as “a man who served no other interests than his own and did his best to deeply divide a country along political fault lines.”
“Lowering the flag of the United States is a high honor reserved for those who have honorably and bravely served our state and our nation,” Farmer’s statement said. “Unfortunately, Governor DeSantis has now transformed this distinction into a partisan political tool to salute a man who served no other interests than his own and did his best to deeply divide a country along political fault lines.”
Any move to lower our flag in deference to a man who helped drive the hatred and inflame the prejudices against marginalized groups, people of color, women, and anyone who did not look like him or think like him is wrong, and should be rescinded. pic.twitter.com/sm6KG1BBja
— Senator Gary Farmer (@FarmerForFLSen) February 19, 2021
Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz, who formerly served as chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) “called the decision an ‘an embarrassment to Florida,'” according to Business Insider.
“Limbaugh weaponized his platform to spread racism, xenophobia and homophobia across the nation,” accused Wasserman Shultz.
Democratic Florida Rep. Ted Deutch reacted to DeSantis’ announcement about Limbaugh by calling it “disgusting” and “embarrassing.”
“Florida is better than this,” he said.
DeSantis said Thursday that Limbaugh would be missed “dearly” and noted that the legendary host allowed him on his massive broadcast a couple times.
“He obviously was a legend in his field, really incomparable,” DeSantis said on “Fox & Friends.” “He had me on when I was running for governor and I was getting the tar kicked out of me every day … I was honored to appear on his show a couple times. We are going to miss him dearly.”
Limbaugh was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer in early 2020 and passed away Wednesday morning from complications of the disease. His wife, Kathryn, informed his loyal listeners at the top of the afternoon program.
“I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting,” Kathryn said. “For over 32 years, Rush has cherished you, his loyal audience, and always looked forward to every single show. It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.”
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