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Donald Trump brought Rick Scott, Ron DeSantis together in Tampa Friday.

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In Florida swing, Donald Trump makes Rick Scott, Ron DeSantis play nice

As 2020 heats up, two potential 2024 candidates had to play nice Friday in spite of themselves.

As the 2020 Presidential race heats up, two potential 2024 candidates had to work together Friday in spite of themselves.

Sen. Rick Scott, the former Governor of the state, got to make the trip on Air Force One with President Donald Trump. He was notable exiting the plane because he was wearing a mask. He did not stand behind the President as he made a pro-police speech, leaving that privilege to sheriffs backing the President.

In any event, Scott wouldn’t get the President to himself. At a roundtable Friday afternoon, he had to share focus with his successor in the Governor’s Mansion.

The dynamic between Gov. Ron DeSantis and Scott has been fraught with difficulty since even before the inauguration. If there is any semblance of a functional working relationship between the two, it’s not advertised.

The sniping between the two has been a matter of record. DeSantis, without mentioning Scott by name, has bemoaned the “jalopy” of an unemployment system he inherited. Scott, without mentioning DeSantis’ name, has blasted Florida for messaging the virus crisis badly and for not being accountable regarding how federal coronavirus relief funds have been spent.

The two have made other moves to one up each other, correctly surmising that there’s one ticket out of Florida for 2024. DeSantis has made no secret of bigger aspirations, while Scott is angling to chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2022, giving him a national platform beyond just cable news hits.

While both aspire to be the lead dog, for the President, they are part of the pack. And the Tampa swing showed it.

The President kicked off the event discussing the incoming hurricane, saying DeSantis, who was sitting beside him at the event, is “doing a great job … a fantastic job.”

Scott, who was not directly next to the President, is “representing the state of Florida very well,” Trump said, putting the Senator in the middle of the pack of those introduced.

Trump did not mention the lack of coordination between the two top Republicans, but kept making asides to DeSantis, not Scott, as he recited various things the White House has done to help with virus response.

DeSantis offered remarks after the President wrapped, recapping hurricane advisory language as Trump looked on like he was being briefed for the first time. In previous years, of course, that would have been Scott’s role. But no more.

Scott was able to talk about how Trump had helped in previous storms, before briefing the President on Puerto Rico and lauding Trump for his commitment to vaccines and testing.

“The Governor’s seeing some issues that I’m sure other states are having,” Scott remarked, again making his position clear without violating Ronald Reagan‘s 11th commandment.

But it was DeSantis who had the more relaxed dynamic with the President, recounting the high points of the state’s response to coronavirus, with a focus on long term care facilities.

“You’ve done a very good job at the nursing homes,” Trump mused.

The Governor started to run the meeting, stacked with familiar players like Senate President Wilton Simpson and Justin Senior of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance, and their testimony made DeSantis look good.

“The key is to keep working together,” Senior said.

And Sen. Scott?

He was a supporting player, while the Governor got on the marquee. And sometime during remarks extolling the maskless Governor, he put his covering back on.

While the President, during Q&A, referred to “Ron and Rick,” ultimately only one got the spotlight.

The banter between DeSantis and Trump extended to reporter questions about prescription drug importation legislation passed on the state level and greenlighted by the White House. The Governor even joked about ads he saw with his children while watching Paw Patrol.

“They said Florida’s gonna be bringing in drugs from Djibouti that’s gonna kill everybody,” the Governor quipped, as he and the President went on to discuss the size and strength of the pharmaceutical lobby.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Feed as a Bird

    July 31, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    “Ron and Rick”? I prefer Beavis and Butthead. At least they were funny.

  2. Mel Thomas

    July 31, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    How do you like Democrat Socialism so far? PORT, NY, CHI, ATL, WA, DC Minneapolis just to mention a few. All Democrat leadership did the same thing, allowing the rioters to destroy.

    Like the third world isn’t it. Democrat Mayors ordering Police to stand down while the city is looted, burned. citizens beaten in the streets, monuments destroyed, police stations attacked taken over and allowed to be occupied by liberal Mayors & Governors. Antifa and BLM (founder is a Marxist) are the criminals behind this and the Democrat city and state leaders are complicit.

    Joe has recently stated that Police need to be de-funded “redirected” If Joe Biden is elected America will be on fire…..only Biden won’t send federal officers.

    Biden stated he’s going to “transform America” If you vote for Joe Biden it will be for a far left platform.. Joe will follow the radical left’s agenda or Joe won’t get the support (and he is) of Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, llhan Omar, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Adam Schiff, Val Demings, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Valerie Jarrett,. Rashida Talib, Stacy Abrams, Ayanna Pressley, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Tom Perez, Maxine Waters, Al Green, Jerry Nadler, Pramila Jayapal.

    (This is the core of the socialists leftist wing of the Democrat party and are firmly in charge, not old , confused Joe Biden. Biden will be a puppet to a liberal Vice President and those mentioned above.)

    Democrat Platform & Goals: (Do you know?)

    *Citizenship for 20 to 50 million illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients and their families with a cost of billions.

    *Free Healthcare for Illegal aliens, DACA, TPS recipients (taxpayer funded with one estimate at 52 trillion) Joe Biden endorsed.

    *Massive tax increases. All Democrat candidates have committed to tax increases of various amounts. Biden has stated he will raise taxes.

    *Sanctuary Cities & States. Joe Biden supports sanctuary cities.

    *Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Green new deal.(which would create massive unemployment, 100,000 jobs estimated in the transportation industry alone.) Biden supports.

    *Reparations for race’s harmed by Caucasians. Joe Biden committed to support Sheila Jackson Lee’s reparations bill in the House. Basically a tax will be levied on all Caucasians in America. (you can’t make this stuff up)

    *De-fund & terminate border patrol & ICE.

    * Biden will attack the Second Amendment (as it is now) Biden has stated Beto O’Rourke will be his gun Czar “Hell yeah I’m coming for your guns.”

    *De-fund Police. Kamala Harris called it “re-imagine law enforcement” in the senate. Biden recently stated he was in favor, quote “redirecting law enforcement finds.” Biden will do what the far left wants.

    *Ending of all private / employer based health care. “Medicare for all”, Feds run everything.

    *Illegal Aliens eligible for welfare & food stamps. (Elizabeth Warren’s plan adopted) Endorsed by Biden.

    *Free college for all, including illegal aliens (taxpayer funded with estimates in the billions. Bernie Sanders plan adopted.

    *Decriminalization of illegal entry into our country.

    *Open Borders.

    *End all deportations of illegal aliens, if you get here, you stay. Bernie’s website calls it a “moratorium” on deportations.

    *Drivers Licenses for illegal aliens (already happening in states with Democrat leadership. Biden endorsed

    *Late term abortions up to 9 months.

    * Destruction and erasing our history.

    Democrats want to make this election all about President Trump. NOT their platform & Goals for obvious reasons.

    • Bartholomew

      July 31, 2020 at 10:21 pm

      You can’t shoot a gun if you are dead from a virus. Look around you, has Trump fixed anything? Doesn’t look like it. If only the rich have money eventually it will all be worthless. All of the things you mention might be partial platforms but you are highly twisting them to be more onerous than they actually are. Trump is the one turning us into a third world country playing on your ignorance and fears. Fortunately more people are getting educated and know what is possible under a truly democratic society. Trump and his supporters fear democracy, it shows in what their talking points are. They always make a lot of claims but very little proof or evidence of what they are claiming.

    • blue wave

      August 1, 2020 at 12:33 am

      my God you need help

      go find an abandoned island

  3. Michael Bening

    July 31, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    DID YOU ENJOY 4 YEARS OF REPUBLICAN FASCISM? 95 more days and crooked Trump racist fascist pig and all the rest of the republican racist fascist pigs will be kicked out of office. GOOD RIDDANCE! HIT THE ROAD JACK AND DON’T COME BACK NO MORE! Then in the next election, the Florida racist fascist pigs will be kicked out of office as well: jackasses Desantis, Scott, and Rubio.

  4. BlueHeron

    August 1, 2020 at 12:21 am

    Don, Ron and Rick.
    Pop the popcorn.
    Will they learn to play nice in the sandbox?
    Let’s watch what happens.

    • Sonja Fitch

      August 1, 2020 at 6:45 am

      Thems not playing nice! Thems playing that stupid imbecile traitor trump! Both of these white privileged men know Trump is a loser! Poor old white privileged nazi Rick will kick duffus Desantis in the ass after the goptrump cult leader loooooses! Vote Blue for You and Me!

  5. DisplacedCTYankee

    August 1, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Please knock troll “Mel Thomas” off this site.

    Which one — Scott or DeMAGA — is going to raise the GOP Titanic off the ocean floor in 2024. Can’t wait!

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