Ron DeSantis to Tucker Carlson: ‘I don’t seek validation by the media’
Ron DeSantis. Image via Fox News Channel.

Ron DeSantis
A heated exchange between the Governor and a CNN reporter Monday dragged Florida back into the national spotlight.

Florida is under the national spotlight after long lines and struggling registration systems put a black stain on the opening days of the vaccine rollout.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis stands by his decision to let local county health departments and hospitals lead vaccine distributions rather than let the state dictate the rollout process. And on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, the Governor spoke more broadly about the criticism that has come his way throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m happy for the criticism because, you know what, I don’t seek validation by the media. What I seek is supporting the citizens of my state,” DeSantis said. “I can tell you, as this pandemic has warn on, the number of times someone has come up to me with tears in their eyes saying, ‘If it wasn’t for you, my kid would not be in school and I would not have my job. Thank you.’ That is why I’m in this job.”

Fox News has frequently pitted the Governor’s response against that of New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, frequently siding with DeSantis while other media sides with Cuomo. Florida has had 6.4% of its residents test positive while 5.4% of New Yorkers have. But only 103 Floridians compared to 158 New Yorkers have died per 100,000 residents.

Despite the criticism, DeSantis says he’s staying the course, which has been to reopen schools and resist mask mandates or implementing new lockdowns, even as the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommends it. Additionally, the Governor has taken a hardline approach against protests and proposed a controversial bill for the coming Legislative Session that would grant protections to law enforcement officers and dissuade violent protests.

“People have opportunities in Florida, they’re seeing that, people are coming here for greener pastures, and yes, we take law and order very seriously, we want to protect our citizens’ safety,” he said. “We’re obviously not going to tolerate a Minneapolis situation.”

During a Monday afternoon press conference, a CNN reporter pressed DeSantis on the rocky vaccine rollout, which led to a testy exchange as the Governor cut her off as she insisted on expanding her question. Carlson questioned whether DeSantis would receive better treatment from CNN if the Governor had a brother who was an anchor on the network, alluding to Cuomo’s brother Chris Cuomo.

“If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas,” DeSantis said. “But I think it’s pretty clear, some of these networks, they have agendas. They’re doing narratives. They’re not trying to report facts anymore. It’s all about spinning whatever narrative they think can get ratings, and that’s just the reality of the situation.”

DeSantis has been floated as a possible 2024 Republican presidential nominee. Carlson danced around that possibility, suggesting people are moving to Florida because they think DeSantis could become the nominee.

“Tucker, I can tell you I’m pretty confident I’ll be the Governor nominee in 2022 here in Florida,” the Governor said, “so we look forward to running that race.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Rob

    January 5, 2021 at 9:29 pm


  • Sonja Fitch

    January 6, 2021 at 5:30 am

    Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians! Duffus Desantis is criminally negligent in serving and protecting Floridians! Arrest and lock up this damn traitor Duffus Desantis! The day will come Desantis when your children will know you are a loser and have blood of Floridians all over you and your failures ! Lock up Desantis!

  • Ron Ogden

    January 6, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Thank God for a man with enough spine not to kiss CNN a-s.

  • zhombre

    January 7, 2021 at 10:26 am

    “Black stain” is a racist phrase. Shame on you, child.

  • Jean

    January 10, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Grateful for DeSantis! He ignores the biased media and just does what’s right for Floridians. He understand people need to work, the lock downs have done nothing to stop COVID, but they did manage to destroy businesses and people’s lives. So glad I’m not in California or New York!

Comments are closed.


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