‘The View’ Host Admits DeSantis Is ‘Brilliant’ — Then Insists That Only Proves He’s Mean
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 09: Sunny Hostin attends as Harper's BAZAAR and Bloomingdale's Host Fête September 9 Celebrating Harper's BAZAAR Global ICONS Portfolio and Bloomingdale's 150th Anniversary at Bloomingdale's on September 09, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Harper's BAZAAR)
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Harper’s BAZAAR

Sunny Hostin admitted on Thursday that Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis was “brilliant” — but immediately afterward, she insisted that his intelligence was just more proof that “cruelty is the point” of his governing style.

Hostin joined her co-hosts on ABC’s midday talk show “The View,” where they began by discussing the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and the fact that DeSantis and President Joe Biden — despite their many personal and political differences — had been largely cooperating on storm-related issues.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg tried to minimize DeSantis’ efforts, arguing that he couldn’t very well refuse to accept federal help just to spite Biden.


“That’s the beauty of a president,” Goldberg said, apparently suggesting that Biden was doing the lion’s share of the work in Florida’s recovery while DeSantis was simply waiting around for the handouts. She went on to ask whether accepting help from the Biden administration might hurt DeSantis’ “brand” within the GOP, arguing that he couldn’t turn it down either.

Ana Navarro echoed Goldberg but added that most Floridians — having been through hurricanes in the past — understood when to play politics and when to focus on solutions, even if that meant working with political opponents.


Hostin weighed in then, making sure to first take a shot at former President Donald Trump.

“I think what’s always disappointed me about DeSantis is he’s a very different political candidate than, let’s say, a President Trump,” she explained. “I firmly believe that President Trump is just not the smartest guy. I really — I don’t — I think he’s educated but I just don’t think he’s that smart.”

She went on to argue that Trump was “raised” to be a racist and a homophobe — before pivoting to list DeSantis’ accomplishments.

“When you look at DeSantis, he graduated from Yale University. He went to Harvard Law School. He earned a commission in the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer,” Hostin said of the man she has repeatedly referred to as “Death-Santis,” adding, “He was a federal prosecutor who did what I did, was where he targeted and convicted child predators. He still serves in the United States [Navy] Reserve.”

“So what that tells me is he’s brilliant,” Hostin summarized before pivoting to the attack: “And the cruelty is the point, when he’s sending immigrants all over the place and not taking care of them.”

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