Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) ripped Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) during a gubernatorial debate Monday night after Crist repeatedly tried to make speculation that DeSantis would run for president in 2024 an issue during the debate.
The debate was originally scheduled for October 12th but was postponed in the wake of the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis has far out-raised and outspent Crist in the election and is widely projected to win next month’s race.
DeSantis has dominated political fundraising in recent years, raising more money for his political operation than any other governor in U.S. history. He has raised so much money that he has out-raised all other potential 2024 presidential candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
“Well listen I know that Charlie’s interested in talking about 2024 and Joe Biden but I just want to make things very, very clear the only worn out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist,” DeSantis fired back.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 24, 2022
Crist continued to bring up the issue later in the debate but it never gained traction or altered the course of the debate.
Earlier in the debate, Crist attacked DeSantis’ handling of the state’s responses to Hurricane Ian, which sparked a strong response from the governor.
“Look, I’m proud that we had 42,000 linemen staged, ready to go, an unprecedented array of first responders,” DeSantis said during the debate. “We were able to get in in a record time, effectuate thousands of rescues, get the power back on for millions of people in record time.”
“And when the bridges got wiped out in Pine Island and in Sanibel people thought those islands were going to be severed from the mainland for six months to a year, we did the Pine Island Restoration in three days and we did the Sanibel causeway restoration in two weeks,” DeSantis continued. “Now those islands have the ability to recover.”
DeSantis then turned his focus to Crist and what Crist was doing during and after the hurricane hit the state.
“You know what he was doing during this? He was hiding out in Puerto Rico,” DeSantis said. “He wasn’t helping his community here. And then when he got back, what did he do? His campaign was soliciting campaign contributions from storm victims. That is unacceptable and that’s not what a leader would do and a time of despair.”