‘Hit ’em back’: Gov. DeSantis amps up defense after 60 Minutes report
DeSantis calls in back up to deny "60 Minutes" report.

DeSantis presser
The Governor said of naysayers, he'd 'hit ‘em back right between the eyes.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis called in back-up as he took another lap to defend himself against a heavily criticized 60 Minutes segment that implied a pay-to-play scheme in the state’s vaccine rollout.

“This is one of the biggest face-plants of corporate media,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis called the 60 Minutes piece a “smear” in public appearances and interviews Monday, Tuesday, and now, Wednesday.

In a visual presentation to media called “FACTS VS. SMEARS”, DeSantis laid out his case against the CBS report, this time with Division of Emergency Management head Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat, by his side.

The detailed presentation amped up the Governor’s rebuttal, as did his use of the word “malicious” to describe the report. When the Governor’s spokeswoman was asked after the press conference if DeSantis planned to take legal action against the news magazine show, she said simply, “stay tuned.”

The story, which aired Sunday, tied Publix’s $100,000 donation to the Governor’s campaign to the state’s vaccine rollout. The Governor selected Publix as the main distributor of vaccines in Palm Beach County in late January.

DeSantis contends other pharmacies were helping the state in other ways, but were not ready for a large-scale vaccine rollout like Publix.

Florida officials have largely backed DeSantis’ rebuke of the “60 Minutes” story, including Democratic Palm Beach Mayor Dave Kerner.

At the press conference, Moskowitz reiterated previous statements he has made that the news story is false, which he said he told to 60 Minutes producers prior to the segment airing.

“It’s verifiably false because I know that decision was made in my office. I’m the one making the phone call, and I tried to go to Walmart first. So, the whole Publix pay-to-play thing is garbage,” Moskowitz said.

Publix called the notion that it received special access “absolutely false and offensive.”

CBS issued a statement standing by its report.

The Governor maintained the state has made an “impressive” vaccination effort.

“If they’re going to come down here and smear our efforts, or smear me, or smear great companies in my state, I’m going to hit ‘em back right between the eyes here,” DeSantis said.

After the press conference the Governor’s spokeswoman said DeSantis was vaccinated yesterday, but she declined to give any further details.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for FloridaPolitics.com. Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected].


  • Ron Ogden

    April 7, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Watch the Childish Broadcasting System squirm. They lied (but all reporters do), they concocted a story for political purposes (“speaking truth to power”), and they think they are beyond reproach (“First Amendment protects us as we fight for OUR DEMOCRACY”). Lazy, fearful and pusillanimous–the lot of them.

    • tjb

      April 9, 2021 at 8:40 am

      Would all reporters include the folks from OAN and Fox? Is that correct Ron? Also, Fox lawyers have often stated that much of their news is not based on facts. CBS may have been incorrect in their reporting but this has never stopped Fox and OAN from endlessly smearing the opposition

  • Thomas palmer

    April 7, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Whine, whine. whine. Waaaanh!

  • Arthro

    April 8, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Best Governor we have ever had. Democrats and liberal media just trying to take him down. Compare this Governor to some of the blooms in other states like NY, California, Michigan. Our Governor DeSantis got it right.

  • trump lost

    April 9, 2021 at 7:28 am

    – 10% COVID positivity rate, 9th in the country; 31st in the country for testing.
    – Millions of gallons of toxic water dumped into Tampa Bay due to failing infrastructure.
    – 41st in the country for quarterly GDP change (if you don’t care about the human suffering, this really speaks volumes about the success of DeSantis’ COVID strategies).

    …but lets all look at 60 Minutes; another true trumplican move, divert attention from active crises by playing up the inconsequential.

Comments are closed.


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