GOP is ‘naked and afraid,’ J.B. Pritzker says at Florida Democrats’ Leadership Blue Gala

fla dems pritzker
The strategy for the GOP, he said, is division.

Republicans are “naked and afraid,” Illinois J.B. Pritzker said, and that’s what’s driving their policies of fear, he told Florida Democrats at their annual Leadership Blue Gala.

Dems gathered in Tampa showing every bit the energy and motivation it will take if they want to upend the conventional wisdom this year that sees wins for Republicans up and down the ballot.

Pritzker, a man who knows something about beating incumbent Republicans by knocking out then-Gov. Bruce Rauner by nearly 16 points in 2018, spoke to motivate Democrats and to center their purpose. 

Pritzker, a billionaire businessman who also owns a residence in Florida, also helped establish the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. He said he decided to speak to Florida Dems as part of his other efforts in life to fight hate and discrimination.

“What I worry about most is the dangerous complacency that we’ve fallen into that’s wrapped its poisonous arms around our political conversations, and tried to trick us into believing that calling out the truth is some sort of incivility,” Pritzker said. 

The strategy for the GOP, he said, is division.

“The Republican game plan is to divide Democrats and to divide America,” Pritzker said. “They want to task obvious solutions to everyday problems as something ‘exotic’ or ‘woke.’ They’re hoping, as the old story goes, that no one is willing to say that their emperor has no clothes. Well Florida, I’m here to tell you that the GOP is naked and afraid.”

A lot of the fear also extends to economic policy, he argued. 

“They’re afraid of workers’ rights to organize and bargain,” Pritzker said. “They’re afraid of fighting inflation by producing goods made in America. They’re afraid of holding bad corporate actors accountable for driving up prices. They’re afraid of fiscal policy that says that the highest income earners, like me, should pay the highest tax rates. 

“They’re afraid of raising the minimum wage, because it might unshackle the working poor. They’re afraid of a Democratic agenda that prioritizes building wealth around Black and Brown communities — in communities that have been left out and left behind. They’re afraid when Democrats say plainly that you can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you never had any boots.”

The gala, which featured a recorded message from actor Mark Hamill, had a bit of a Star Wars theme to it, into which Pritzker tapped. He discussed how Republicans these days, burned out on Donald Trump and his baggage — which includes the Capitol insurrection — are turning to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Which is a little like saying you’ve never been a fan of Darth Vader, but you support the Empire’s political agenda,” Pritzker said.

DeSantis is “subtle Trump,” he said — Trump with a mask on.

“He’s trying to pass off his covert racism, homophobia and misogyny as a more-reasonable form of Trump Republicanism,” Pritzker said. 

Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried spoke earlier to varying levels of crowd excitement, but Pritzker benefitted by the crowd blowing the ceiling off for U.S. Senate nominee Val Demings, who had gala attendees cheering and on their feet.

Wes Wolfe

Wes Wolfe is a reporter who's worked for newspapers across the South, winning press association awards for his work in Georgia and the Carolinas. He lives in Jacksonville and previously covered state politics, environmental issues and courts for the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach. You can reach Wes at [email protected] and @WesWolfeFP. Facebook:


  • Tom

    July 17, 2022 at 9:38 am

    Which preferred,
    Hmm, Repub. naked? or this fat, blundering, pathetic, and incompetent overweight blubbering whale, silver spoon pritizker.
    The toilet paper still dangling from his A-hole.

    Nothing like a multi millionaire, pretending suggesting he and the party of elites on working people side.

    • Joe Corsin

      July 17, 2022 at 11:06 am

      Vote RED for ancient Roman plutocracy  in the name of Jesus Christ.

      Vote RED for pandering and bribing police for votes.

      Vote RED for claiming victory on the backs of others while doing nothing but talking.

      Vote RED for paying the rich for votes on the backs of workers while brainwashing the poor with abominable far right propaganda.

      Vote RED for blaming the opposition party for acts of sabotage and obstruction of government that perpetuate an unstable economy.

      • Qwik

        July 17, 2022 at 5:35 pm

        When you repeat vote red over and over you are setting a subliminal message since the stuff that follows is not repeated the only thing that is set in memory is vote red. Is that your intention?

        • Joe Corsin

          July 17, 2022 at 6:13 pm

          “Subliminal messages” aren’t a real phenomenon… supposed effects are only superstition. Vote RED for phoney junk science and whacky conspiracy theories.

          • fred friedman

            July 17, 2022 at 8:17 pm

            Vote Red for illegal immigration, voter fraud, censorship, defund the police, crime, religious bigotry, union corruption, identity politics and more you dumb Irishman

      • Tired O'Libs

        July 18, 2022 at 8:25 am

        Move to IL and see what this fool has done to the state! If Not for Crook County IL. He’d be naked and afraid in jail!

        • Eric Chaudron

          July 19, 2022 at 9:30 pm

          He has turned our state around. He’s the best governor in the country. I live here, we love him. Jag.

      • WallyJaz

        July 18, 2022 at 2:16 pm

        Vote Blue to support the Party that fought the Civil War to keep slavery alive…
        Vote Blue so Democrats can blame everyone else for their failings…
        Vote Blue to spend more money on food, shelter, clothing, energy…
        Vote Blue so Democrats can blame Republicans for stealing the election again by Colluding with Russia…

        JOE, are you really as stupid as you seem to be?

        • Joe Corsin

          July 19, 2022 at 7:33 am

          Vote RED to spend less money on ordinary Americans but instead shovel more money to the rich
          Vote RED for low wage slavery and forced birth of trailer park meth babies
          Vote RED for far right propaganda to obscure the grifting empty suits

    • laughable

      July 18, 2022 at 1:20 am

      hesa billionaire …. what are you a ten dollarire? loser

    • bill Dannenmaier

      July 18, 2022 at 5:17 am

      Hmmm… perhaps JB is channeling something. maybe just afraid to be naked, and no bathroom in sight,,,,

      • WallyJaz

        July 18, 2022 at 2:18 pm

        Naked and Afraid, Hunter when he runs out of cheddar…

    • Glen

      July 18, 2022 at 2:32 pm

      Illinois is doing so great that if you win on a lottery ticket, they give you an IOU, just doesn’t get any better than that

  • Impeach Biden

    July 17, 2022 at 9:58 am

    Can you imagine that fat slob trying to get up the stairs on Air Force One? It’s bad enough watching the “incompetent one” trying to get up those stairs.

    • Joe Corsin

      July 17, 2022 at 11:07 am

      Vote RED for empty suit, televangelist politicians that merely exist to entertain stupid people and the rich.

      Vote RED for 40,000 lies in four years by the Trump regime.

      Vote RED for, “You shouldn’t arrest me because I am a Republican.”

      Vote RED for right wing authoritarian dictatorship over democracy.

      Vote RED for religious propaganda that demonizes people who would actually raise the standard of living in the country as satanic.

      • Dulafer

        July 18, 2022 at 6:37 am

        LOLOLO…..40,000 lies. Do you really believe anyone believes your lies about lies? No one buys it.

        “Shouldn’t arrest me” like Nancy Pelosi’s husband? Ted Kennedy?

        Dictatorship as in “mandated vax shots, wear a mask but dems don’t, AOC maskless in FL, closing businesses, schools, beaches?”

        The standard of living? Like leaving 2 million illegals into the country, driving down wages? or defund the police that destroys neighborhoods? Inflation destroying buying power? Surging gas prices?

        Televangelists? Stuck in the 80s? No one watches them…

        • Joe Corsin

          July 18, 2022 at 7:44 am

          All your examples are shallow nonsense. Seek help for psychological abuse. You’ve been abused…..

  • Dan

    July 17, 2022 at 10:24 am

    “Pritzker, a billionaire businessman who also owns a residence in Florida,….”

    In other words, another out of touch politician. Democrats claim to be for the “working man” but they sure know how to vote in billionaire and elitist demagogues.

    And a far-left elitist clown winning in Illinois (one of the most liberal and corrupt states in the country) isn’t exactly record-breaking or shocking.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 17, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Vote RED for wealth and income inequality the likes of which the world has never seen.

    Vote RED for a culture of greed, racism, incivility, and politicized religion.

    Vote RED to perpetuate low wage exploitation and capitalist scams.

    Vote RED for get out of jail free for the rich and prison for the poor.

    Vote RED for domestic terrorism to eliminate government so that hogs can grift Americans into slavery.

    • Mike McCormick

      July 17, 2022 at 11:17 am

      I see your sighting examples of the democrats. Funny guy.

      • Joe Corsin

        July 17, 2022 at 2:26 pm

        ^ Vote RED for braindead voters who have been ripped off for decades by the GOP hogs.

        • Impeach Biden

          July 17, 2022 at 6:02 pm

          I’m getting ripped off by Biden and his energy Secretary every time I gas up my car.

          • Joe Corsin

            July 17, 2022 at 6:15 pm

            Not governments fault you can’t afford cheap stuff Karen. “Go out and get a better education and a better job.” – Rick Scott

          • laughable

            July 18, 2022 at 1:21 am

            shows just how fuckign stupid you rae, Gas is a global commodities. read a fucking book then try to insult someone. biden has zero control . but he is putting enough pressure that gas is coming down even tho russian gas is not being sold. do you have any idea how shit works?

          • Dulafer

            July 18, 2022 at 6:49 am

            Shuts down Keystone Pipeline, but approves Russian pipeline. Hunter getting $350M from Moscow’s mayor’s wife sure pays off for all of them.

            Biden wants dirty oil from our enemies, will travel thousands of miles to kiss up to Arab but won’t visit Texas, encourage domestic drilling or visit the border.

            Now he’s sending oil from our safety reserve to China?

    • Mack Denife

      July 17, 2022 at 7:57 pm

      It appears you are a combination of unhinged and delirious. Are you Biden’s age?

      • Tom

        July 18, 2022 at 5:33 am

        Yes laughable, you do make one do so. How ignant are you? You believe these fake Dem talking points.
        Gas is still $5.00 in large parts of country. 10% inflation, it ain’t going away. Food, commodities.

        This is all been done purposeful, sanders-aoc, green no deal. Hate of carbon, and gas oil.

        You are laughable, laughable.

    • Dulafer

      July 18, 2022 at 6:39 am

      “You ain’t black if you don’t vote for me” – Joe Biden

      “Breakfast Taco” – Jill Biden

  • Charlie Brown

    July 17, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    That fatass Pritzshit is the reason I left Illinois. Best possible view of Illinois is from the top of the I 24 bridge over the Ohio river…in your rear view mirror

  • jim shane

    July 17, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Let’s all just be thankful it isn’t Pritzker who is naked.

  • Qwik

    July 17, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    Why would this portly and unattractive man be talking about other peoples state of undress? It’s offputting.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 17, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Vote RED for dumbasses mentally crippled from far right propaganda and being grifted to a husk by those who are doing it.

    • Dulafer

      July 18, 2022 at 6:41 am

      You’re funny….When you have to name call and get personal, you’ve lost the debate. How sad is that.

      • Wurtz

        July 21, 2022 at 8:31 pm

        5/10 democrats would be happy to see America become Chi(na)merica so long as they got to be in the party on top.

  • MrEggplant

    July 17, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Me and countless others have LEFT Illinois because of Pritzker and his parties failed policies. A few years ago I would hear rumors of neighbors or friends of friends leaving Illinois. But today, I now know at least a dozen people personally who are leaving, and I am joining them. I think the 2022 Illinois exodus numbers are going to be even more shocking that the 2021 or 2020 numbers. People are FLEEING Illinois! So to take Pritzker as some sort of political mastermind and inspirational leader is complete malarkey!

    • Elliott Offen

      July 18, 2022 at 7:48 am

      Fleeing Illinois to Florida…to make housing prices higher and take jobs from the people already in Florida and cause more unemployment. Well done..

  • Mack Denife

    July 17, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    I’d definitely be afraid of seeing that lardass naked.

  • Paul

    July 17, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    So, this is a man whose family owns Hyatt Hotels and as you guessed under pays all of its non-public facing employees like maids. Thats where his money comes from. I live in Illinois, and he is absolutely the worst Governor the state has ever had and in the last 30 years three of the Governors have gone to prison.
    if you want the teacher’s union running the country, then by all means vote for the man who sent his family to Florida when the pandemic began so his daughter could continue to ride horses since he locked down the state here.

  • J Myers

    July 18, 2022 at 12:43 am

    Joe Corsin,

    Your brain seems stuck in infantile redundancies. Please seek help.

    • Dulafer

      July 18, 2022 at 6:52 am


      We intend to come November, shut down hair sniffing Biden and stop his destruction of the USA.

    • Joe Corsin

      July 18, 2022 at 7:49 am

      Vote RED for grifters and con men
      Vote RED for neo nazi propagandists
      Vote RED for capitalist puppets and slave keepers
      Vote RED for lies in the name of Jesus

    • Joe Corsin

      July 19, 2022 at 7:42 am

      You are correct…the neo fascist GOP and Trump were infantile redundancies. Terrified the nation for four years… Trump should be executed.

  • Tom

    July 18, 2022 at 5:24 am

    That’s a lot of toilet paper.
    Still streaming, geez
    Btw, his estate is all and strictly inherited.
    Nothing earned.

  • Roger

    July 18, 2022 at 6:47 am

    A lot of these billionaire dipsticks seem to be laboring under the delusion that we working class folks want their version of Plutocratic Socialism. This guy and his ideas have had generations to build wealth in black and brown communities in their state. How is that going? I note that while African Americans who are lucky enough to have jobs in Illinois make about 60,000… the unemployment rate is over double that of Florida… and when cost of living is factored in African Americans make more in Florida too. I suspect Pritzker and rich fat cat buddies are the only ones building wealth in Illinois. I say No Thanks! Take your nutjob theories and incompetence back to Chicago.

    • Elliott Offen

      July 19, 2022 at 7:39 am

      ^ Report to FBI as possible racist terrorist…neo nazi mass shooter.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 18, 2022 at 7:52 am

    Vote RED for far right propaganda and lies

    Vote RED to shovel money to the rich while blaming the Dems for the fallout

    Vote RED for communist intervention in the free market to lower gas prices for red state losers who can’t afford a pot to piss in

  • James

    July 18, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Since you can’t or won’t argue the message, you bash the messenger instead. How typical of your lot.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 19, 2022 at 7:37 am

    Vote RED for Ron DeDumbDumb
    Vote RED for Ron Deathsantis
    Vote RED for Ron DeSatan

  • Just a comment

    July 19, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    Vote free land. No insurance no expensive farm food looming and tv

  • Joe Corsin

    July 20, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Vote RED for homophobia, racism, sedition, bioterrorism, far right propaganda, forced birth of meth babies and crack babies (AkA Republican voters), shoveling money to the rich, lunatic theocracy, and far right police state.

    • Tom

      July 21, 2022 at 2:58 am

      Sick Fuck bastard, you are decrepit and demented Joe corset.
      How’s your degenerate Hunter doing?
      Incompetent Harris. Moron mayor Pete. Go wipe yourself.

      • Joe Corsin

        July 21, 2022 at 8:34 am

        ^ Tom is the typical rural Floridian…just a foul mouthed, violent terrorist supporter. Commits abominable sins “in the name of baby Jesus.” Racist, sexist, crazy SOB. Needs incarceration because insane from decades of expensive medical care thanks to thieves and darwinists like Rick Scott.

        • jimshane

          July 21, 2022 at 8:59 am

          I’m sorry, Joe Corsin, but if anyone on this board seems to be insane, it would be the one who has posted almost as many posts as all the other posters combined.

        • Tom

          July 21, 2022 at 1:59 pm

          Corset, you are dealing with a FP legend. That is fact.

          Your mental regurgitation is as bad as your bowel movements.
          How much is Soros paying you Manchurians, 5 cents.

          You have not conveyed one meaningful comment to support any Dum Dem Manchurian. Biden’s at 29%, chameleon snd fraud, no chance.

          DeSantis had saved Florida, even for you and your loser Manchurian nation.
          His accomplishments are so many.
          Economy, schools, environment, Covid, judicial, and other! A’s across the board. Saved kids from

          Get ready for the big blowout. Independents, Hispanics love him.

          Do for America what he’s done for Florida, please. Rising tide for all. Not dog food like Biden and Harris.
          You all have a major ass kicking coming. Enjoy.

Comments are closed.


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