After activist arrested at press conference, Ron DeSantis bashes ‘authoritarian’ Joe Biden

desantis v biden
The Governor's press conference was delayed but the accompanying fundraising email was not.

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ Tuesday press conference in Jacksonville started late after community activists refused to leave the building when asked by aides.

After the arrest of 72-year-old Ben Frazier, the remarks went as scheduled.

Also appearing as scheduled: an email during the press event from the Governor’s political operation, ironically bashing “authoritarian” President Joe Biden for COVID-19 policies.

“Back in August, Biden told me to ‘get out of the way’ if I wouldn’t go along with his administration’s authoritarian, lockdown COVID policies, guided by Dr. (Anthony) Fauci and his ‘science,'” DeSantis asserted.

“Fortunately, I never caved to Biden’s ineffective and authoritarian government lockdowns and mandates in Florida,” DeSantis added in an email full of familiar attacks.

DeSantis bashed Biden for having “demagogued” former President Donald Trump throughout the 2020 campaign, only to pronounce that there is “no federal solution to COVID.”

“When the going got tough, Joe ran back to his basement,” the email contends.

The timing of the email and its worries about authoritarianism came after a tense morning at the Duval County office of the Florida Department of Health. Frazier and others stood their ground, wondering why they were being compelled to leave a public press conference in a public building.

Frazier was told by a man who described himself as a facilities manager that the conference was only for “credentialed press” and asked everyone to leave “who is not media.” A former broadcast journalist, Frazier serves as president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville.

Police and staffers entered the room, and others, including Wells Todd, said they wanted to ask DeSantis about critical race theory and other topics DeSantis has politicized. Frazier, a former broadcaster, held firm, asking about having a private press conference in a public building.

As police handcuffed him, Frazier asked, “Why am I being handcuffed? Am I being arrested?”

In the end, Frazier was charged with trespassing and given a notice to appear, as reported by Jim Piggott of WJXT.

The Governor had no explanation for the delay.

“I have no idea what happened,” DeSantis said when asked about the incident after his prepared remarks.

By the evening, the arrest became national news, covered by outlets including The Washington Post, while Democrats heaped on criticism. DeSantis chief Democratic rivals, Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried, issued their own criticisms of the arrest that also invoked authoritarianism.

“In Ron’s Florida, the freedom of speech only extends to those that agree with him. This isn’t an authoritarian state, Mr. DeSantis,” Crist tweeted.

“Our governor is a wannabe dictator,” Fried posted.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Alex

    January 4, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    Our Guvnuh is a liar.

    • Idania Fraginals

      January 4, 2022 at 4:16 pm


      • Rob

        January 5, 2022 at 8:23 am

        He must be the only governor you know!

        • Don T Bstupid

          January 5, 2022 at 9:22 am

          LOL. I guess you would have liked Gillum better? Crack or Meth?

          • Work At Home

            January 7, 2022 at 5:49 pm

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      • Juan Perez

        January 5, 2022 at 12:18 pm

        Only for the right wing like yourself.

  • Frankie M.

    January 4, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    I would point out the irony to that statement but I think the it would be lost on Ronnie. They don’t teach irony at Yale. Next presser credentialed media members should wear earplugs, blind folds, and duct tape. Hear no evil. See no evil. Speak no evil.

    • Hugo g

      January 4, 2022 at 5:09 pm

      You’re an idiot

      • Frankie M.

        January 4, 2022 at 5:45 pm

        Thx dad

  • Bob McTiernan

    January 4, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    Oh my..demodummies winning once more
    Can’t wait for Nov 22

    Let’s go brandon

    • Walpurgis

      January 8, 2022 at 5:36 pm

      You have demonstrated the effectiveness of the “dumb ‘em down, rile ‘em up” tactic. No wonder DeSantis ordered Florida flags at half staff for Rush F. Limbaugh. Not military, not first responders, but Limbaugh. Hahahahaha

  • Frankie M.

    January 4, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Next thing ya know those people will wanna drink from the same water fountains and use our bathrooms. Heavens to Betsy!

  • Frankie M.

    January 4, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    I hope the police impounded his scooter too. These troublemakers always trying to interfere with our legislative branch doing the Lord’s work. I heard they trashed the place for good measure while doing wheelies in the lobby of the public health dept. They even taunted Ronnie and made idle threats about wanting to debate the issues with him. If those scary seniors in their walkers & scooters were with the tea party maybe Ronnie woulda signed their yearbooks. Need to take a page from Lenny’s playbook and either catch a case of the coco and/or shutdown city hall to the public.

    Good luck finding an ambulance chaser willing to take on a 1st ammendment case. Lookin at you John Phillips!

    • Tom

      January 7, 2022 at 10:49 am

      Frankie, did weasel peter h, elmos cousin buy you the Elmo slippers.
      Go wash your car you idiot. Call J D, or Jay D. LOL ignorance rules the manchurians.

  • Stephen P Johnson

    January 4, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    Nice projection governor.

  • Stephen P Johnson

    January 4, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    Nothing but projection.

  • Ronnie standridge

    January 4, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    Love my governor Ron desantis thank you for all you do just wish Biden was half the man our governor is

  • Jerry

    January 4, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    LOL! You guys are really something.
    You are trying to force a needle into my arm of an experimental drug, yet you claim DeSantis is “authoritarian?”

    Do you stupid liberals ever bother to look in the mirror? You people are totally obsessed with power and control.

    • Andy

      January 5, 2022 at 9:56 am

      There is nothing experimental about it. Too bad they did not teach science at Yale.

      • Dolph Lundgren

        January 5, 2022 at 4:04 pm

        Nobody needs science to understand that you, Andy, are the experiment…

        ding, fries are done.

      • Rick

        January 6, 2022 at 6:55 pm

        Must be as it does not work

    • Alex

      January 5, 2022 at 1:52 pm


    • Walpurgis

      January 8, 2022 at 5:39 pm

      Okay. Get covid and then infect a vulnerable innocent person, you rebel you!

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    January 5, 2022 at 8:07 am

    Activist deliberately acted to get this result and media and far left frenzy. The public isn’t blind anymore

  • SL Bee

    January 5, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Der Dwarf needs a little moustache.

  • Tom

    January 5, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    Guvna DeathSantis is not only criminally negligent and responsible for thousands of Covid deaths, he is also an environmental criminal.

    Our only solace is the knowledge that within 5 years, Florida will be lying beneath the ocean and Guvna DeathSantis will be extinct like every other human on the planet.

    • Tom

      January 7, 2022 at 10:45 am

      Fake Tom above, dumb ass Alex and his Manchurians continue to make me a “legend” as I bust your incompetent balls! What a bunch of losers.

      Ditto Carol and Tineseley, very well stated!

      • Walpurgis

        January 8, 2022 at 5:47 pm

        You’re dumbed down and riled up. Equally, or does one condition predominate?

  • Tineseley

    January 5, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Gov. Desantis is America’s Governor. Sit back, and enjoy 4 more years of Florida economic growth and stability as he cruises to a re-election victory.
    And to think, we could have had a crack head sitting in the Gov’s Chair. Dems love to vote for crackheads.

    • Walpurgis

      January 8, 2022 at 5:44 pm

      Pudgy punk DeSantis lowers Florida flags at half staff. Not for military or first responders, but for Rush Limbaugh. Why?
      Because Ron has so well benefited from the “dumb ‘em down, rile ‘em up” tactic. Hahahahaha

  • Carol Reynolds

    January 5, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    I hope Governor DeSantis runs for President in 2024. I love Trump but he would be too controversial. Let Trump be his close advisor. Oh also would like to see Ted Cruz as VP!!

  • Lilith

    January 6, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    Gov DeSantass about to be done. All you dumptards in FL gonna get what you deserve, which won’t be a happy time for you all.

Comments are closed.


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