Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took a break from his usual fierce criticism of the President to recognize federal help in the wake of the condo collapse in Surfside.
The Governor, addressing media in Surfside Friday, credited “federal partners” President Joe Biden and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for “stepping up to the plate” as the state wrestles with this disaster and the aftermath.
DeSantis noted that he talked to Biden Friday before the press availability.
“I just spoke about an hour ago with President Biden, and he reiterated his administration’s full support. They’re all in,” DeSantis said. “And so we really appreciate having the support of the President. And the people of Florida really appreciate the President and his Administration stepping up to help people who are in need.”
“We were also fortunate to get support from FEMA to provide individual assistance to people who have been impacted. We typically probably would not with this have hit the threshold, but you can waive that. The Biden Administration waived that minimum threshold and is stepping up to the plate,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also said he spoke to the FEMA Director last night, and “she’s been great” and “wants to be helpful.”
The White House offered a readout, meanwhile.
“The President said his administration stands ready to provide additional resources and assistance that state and local officials need. The President expressed his gratitude for the heroic first responders and search and rescue teams who are working tirelessly and whose bravery and courage have saved lives. The President also expressed his condolences to the Governor and the people of the Surfside community, sharing his grief for the families who lost loved ones in this devastating tragedy and for the families who are waiting in anguish as search and rescue efforts continue,” read the version of events from the White House press office.
The President also addressed the conversation in comments to press pool reporters.
“We sent the best people from FEMA down there,” Biden said, as reported by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “We’re going to stay with them.”
DeSantis officially declared a state of emergency for Miami-Dade on Thursday evening, setting the stage for Biden to authorize federal assistance after some hours in which it wasn’t clear the ask would be made.
DeSantis’ acknowledgment of Biden and the federal effort represents a sharp break from his right-of-center attacks of the Biden administration, and progress from Thursday’s seeming inability to mention the President.
The Governor was on Hannity Thursday night, after having declared a state of emergency. DeSantis did not mention President Joe Biden at all, a man referred to yet again Thursday night by Hannity as “President Sippy Cup” to kick off the show.
Biden, during remarks at the White House Thursday, urged DeSantis to follow through and reach out for federal help.
“I made it clear. I say to the people of Florida, whatever help you want the federal government to provide, we’re waiting. Just ask us. We’ll be there,” Biden said.
DeSantis’ remarks of reconciliation came just hours after a press conference near Pensacola, from where DeSantis deployed 50 state law enforcement officers to “secure the southern border,” as a media release from his office put it.