‘Chewbacca defense’: Ron DeSantis says ‘woke’ opponents are running from Joe Biden’s record
Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

'I think they are trying to figure out whatever they can to just stick on the wall.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis redoubled his rhetorical assault on critical race theory and its “woke” proponents Wednesday, accusing them of invoking a so-called “Chewbacca defense” by talking about those issues instead of inflation caused by the federal government.

“So I think they’re trying to figure out whatever they can to stick on the wall. It’s almost like a Chewbacca defense, you know, trying to get people diverted from whatever the true issues are by manufacturing things,” DeSantis said, referring to a fictional, deliberately distracting legal strategy popularized by the TV show “South Park”.

The Governor, during a morning press conference in Gainesville, worked up to this metaphor. He argued critical race theory concepts were “pitting people against each other based on race” and “denigrating our country.”

“It’s been very unpopular wherever it has been tried,” DeSantis asserted. “We want to make sure people can go to school without being scapegoated or targeted. I think that’s where the vast, vast majority of people want to be.”

DeSantis then turned his attention to critics, suggesting their interest in racial equity is really driven by a desire to distance themselves from President Joe Biden.

“Look, people come after me all the time. But I think it’s telling that they have to manufacture some type of fake narrative. It just shows that they don’t have policies that they can put up that are going to be very effective. All of these people are big supporters of the policies that we’ve seen with Biden that’s driving the inflation … that’s really wreaking havoc on family budgets,” DeSantis said, lamenting spikes in home prices and supply-chain complications.

“That’s all on them. They understand that people aren’t happy with that and they understand people are really going to voice displeasure with that in November. So I think they are trying to figure out whatever they can to just stick on the wall,” DeSantis said. “It doesn’t work. They’ve been doing that to me for years.”

DeSantis vowed to keep putting “wins on the board” while holding opponents accountable for “failed policies.”

The Governor’s comments come as priority legislation moves through the Legislature allowing parents to sue if students “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.”

The remarks Wednesday continue a recent trend of deflective attacks of Democratic critics, who wondered why the Governor was silent in the immediate wake of a neo-Nazi demonstration in Orange County.

“So what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to do with it, we’re not playing their game,” DeSantis said Monday in Palm Beach.

“But I’m not going to have people try to smear me who belong to a political party that has elevated antisemites to the halls of Congress,” DeSantis added, singling out Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

The Governor’s press secretary created controversy of her own when she expressed doubt that the Nazis were real and not simply Democratic operatives.

In a tweet posted Sunday night and later deleted, press secretary Christina Pushaw responded to Twitter outrage over an Orlando Nazi demonstration by asking, “Do we even know they’re Nazis?”

Pushaw then sought to clarify that statement. “I don’t know what you mean by ‘denying Nazis.’ I was referring to this event in VA, when a group of Democrats dressed up as White supremacists to discredit a (Glenn) Youngkin rally,” she told Florida Politics Monday.

“Nazi imagery and hate speech, whoever is using it, is never acceptable. Nobody from our office ever suggested it was,” she added, calling attempts to “tie” the neo-Nazis to DeSantis “disgusting political smears.”

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • Frankie M.

    February 2, 2022 at 2:28 pm

    The purpose of a spokesperson is to speak for you. Ronnie might want to consider getting a new one as Ms. Pushaw is clearly a distraction and not very good at her job. It doesn’t help that Ronnie is a very awkward human.

  • rassta

    February 3, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Just classic doublespeak from Rona! Shameless! What a lame excuse for a Governor! Let’s ignore Floridians’ real problems while making a big deal out of “red meat” items like “fixing” an election process that works just fine, bandstanding against critical race theory that is not being taught in Florida schools, attacking our President for inflation that was born out of many decades of economic policies put forth by Congress and Presidents of both parties, and the list goes on. Clearly, Rona is high on being discussed as a Republican Presidential candidate and his entire focus is on what earns air time on the Fox Entertainment channel and big checks from the mega-rich elite class. He is not working to solve Floridians’ real problems, nor to defend freedom and democracy. He is a pathetic Trump clone clown. He stinks worse than any skunk weed that has ever drifted over a crowd of spring breakers.

  • nail

    February 3, 2022 at 8:47 am

    Ran across a meme that seemed familiar, a picture of a row of porta-potties engulfed in flames with the caption “If 2021 was a scented candle in Florida ….”
    A quick Google search, and sure enough, those toasty toilets had already made the social media rounds last year, then captioned “If 2020 was a scented candle in Florida ….”
    Welcome, it seems, to our new normal in Florida.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    February 3, 2022 at 11:17 am

    These two parrots make Gov. DeSantis’ point! LOL

Comments are closed.


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