DeSantis spokesperson acknowledges latest mistake, spurns critics after tweet deemed antisemitic
Christina Pushaw. Image via Colin Hackley.

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'Making a mistake and posting something offensive does not mean someone is a hateful or bigoted person.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ press secretary says she now understands why a tweet she sent this week could be perceived as antisemitic.

After initially calling the “smears” against her since-deleted tweet “absurd and laughable,” Christina Pushaw tweeted a statement Friday saying the Anti-Defamation League of Florida explained to her what was wrong with her comment. While she said she regrets the initial post, she did not apologize for the tweet, which referenced the Rothschilds, who are sometimes the subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

“After being educated about something that was a blind spot for me, I now understand why people might take offense at what I tweeted, regardless of my intent,” Pushaw wrote. “The Anti-Defamation League of Florida (ADL) explained how that comment could be perceived as an antisemitic ‘dog whistle.’ I had the chance to speak with their representatives. During that conversation, I expressed my appreciation for their mission of educating the public about antisemitism and my regret for making an uninformed and offensive social media post.”

Pushaw, who spent time working in politics in the Republic of Georgia, on Tuesday tweeted her reaction to the country this month announcing it would implement a COVID-19 passport. In June, the managing director of the France-based financial firm Rothschild & Co. met with Georgian leaders, prompting Pushaw to mention the connection.

“Georgia decided to enact a ‘Green Pass’ system (biomedical security state). Immediately after that, the Rothschilds show up to discuss the attractive investment environment in Georgia (lol). No weird conspiracy theory stuff here!” Pushaw tweeted. That tweet has since been deleted.

The Rothschilds, a Jewish family, have been the subject of antisemitic conspiracy theories that Jewish families secretly control the world and global banking as well as stereotypes that Jews are disloyal and greedy abusers of power. According to ADL, antisemitic conspiracy theorists believe the Rothschilds, whose Frankfurt bank grew to prominence in 19th-century Europe, impeded the American Revolution, financed Nazism and the Bolshevik Revolution, carried out the 9/11 attacks and built the state of Israel.

While Pushaw acknowledged her tweet was wrong, she also took aim at her critics and media organizations that denounced her tweet.

“It is important to make the distinction between an ignorant comment and a malicious one,” she wrote. “Making a mistake and posting something offensive does not mean someone is a hateful or bigoted person, and it’s unfortunate that political opponents (in left-wing media as well as politicians) leaped at the chance to smear me.”

The ADL on Wednesday also denounced Pushaw’s tweet and her subsequent defenses of it.

“It’s deeply disturbing to see these kinds of conspiracies promoted by a member of Governor Ron DeSantis’ staff,” ADL Florida Regional Director Sarah Emmons said in a statement.

But Pushaw expressed her gratitude to ADL for holding a conversation with her over the matter.

“ADL, on the other hand, was willing to have a conversation in good faith and work with me to make sure I understand what was wrong with what I wrote so that I do not make the same mistake again, and I deeply appreciate that,” Pushaw saw.

DeSantis has always been a steadfast ally of the Jewish community and Israel, she wrote.

Within months of taking office, DeSantis traveled to Israel on a trade delegation, where he met with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This summer, the Governor accused the United Nations of antisemitism for condemning Israel while not condemning China.

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.


7 comments

  • Frankie M.

    November 19, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Pushaw looks like two weird conspiracy theories made a baby. She’s crazy like the glue! But I guess that’s her shtick. Makes her boss look reasonable by comparison which is probably the point.

  • Ocean Joe

    November 20, 2021 at 6:24 am

    She is bright, and she is a perfect fit for the new Republican party. And there is no doubt she knew exactly what she was trying to say.
    There was no blind spot, riling people up against others is an essential ingredient in the Desantis regime.

    • Impeach Biden

      November 20, 2021 at 10:03 am

      I’ll take her any day over your party spokespersons like Joy Reid, LeMon, Cuomo, the squad, and on and on. Looking forward to November 2022.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    November 20, 2021 at 10:09 am

    ADL needs to chill and stop harassing her. She explained and made amends.

  • TJC

    November 21, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    “…it’s unfortunate that political opponents (in left-wing media as well as politicians) leaped at the chance to smear me.” Yeah, and she never leaps at a chance to mock, criticize, demean, and spread lies about the left…oh please, the irony is just wonderful here. Her dash to portray herself as a victim is reminiscent of her Lord and Savior Donald Trump.

  • guent rghoti

    November 22, 2021 at 7:32 am

    she’s only sorry she got called out

  • Wendy

    November 22, 2021 at 10:35 am

    If she wasn’t hateful and malicious, would she even be the mouthpiece for DeSantis?

Comments are closed.


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