Gov. Ron DeSantis lashed out Thursday at Democrats and the news media, saying they plan to use the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as an opportunity to “smear” supporters of President Donald Trump.
“This is their Christmas,” he told reporters at a morning press conference in West Palm Beach.
DeSantis characterized the D.C. and New York “journalist class” as obsessed with the incident. He also lambasted pundits and others who equate the riot to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Hijackers killed 2,996 Americans during the 2001 attack. Five died and 150 officers were injured during the Jan. 6 riot.
“It’s not something that I’ve been concerned about in my job because quite frankly its not something that most Floridians are concerned about,” the Republic governor added.
DeSantis, a loyal ally of Trump, argued the one-year anniversary and ensuing news coverage would be a “politicized Charlie Foxtrot.”
Roughly 29 million people watched live news coverage of the afternoon assault, resulting in CNN’s most watched day on record, per the Hollywood Reporter.
“I don’t expect anything from the corporate press to be enlightening,” DeSantis said. “I think it’s going to be nauseating, quite frankly, and I’m not going to do it.”
A former member of Congress, DeSantis questioned the purpose of the Jan. 6 Committee, arguing their work is designed to push “political narratives.” He also questioned the FBI’s involvement in the insurrection.
“Why do we not know some of the people who we know were really involved in orchestrating this?” DeSantis asked reporters.
An outspoken critic of the news media, DeSantis accused journalists of inflating some events while minimizing others. In 2017, DeSantis crossed paths with a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders outside a baseball field in Arlington, Virginia.
That supporter, James Hodgkinson, later opened fire on Republican lawmakers and others during a practice session ahead of a congressional baseball game. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and a lobbyist were shot during the 10-minute shootout.
“That was like a one-day, two-day story,” DeSantis said. “That was not something that the Capitol-based press wanted to talk about. Why? Because it totally undercut their preferred narratives.”
DeSantis criticized congressional members who, he asserted, plan to capitalize on the anniversary to garner more TV time. The Governor said they should focus on more pressing issues: jobs, education, inflation and gas prices.
“Some of them… will end up vacationing in Florida at some point as well,” DeSantis quipped.
Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez was spotted this week vacationing in South Florida amid a nationwide spike of COVID-19 cases.
Not least, DeSantis took issue with the characterization of the riot as an insurrection. To date, DeSantis said, federal prosecutors have yet to levy an insurrection charge.
“It’s an insult to people when you say it’s an insurrection, and then a year later, nobody has been charged with that,” DeSantis added.
Florida leads the nation with at least 60 insurrection-related arrests to date — the most of any state, according to the Orlando Sentinel.