Democrats slam ‘MAGA extremists’ ahead of Tampa convention drawing big GOP names

trump, donad - at turning point action
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and DNC Chair Jaime Harrison highlighted GOP positions they say are out of step with most Americans.

A constellation of MAGA stars — including the center of its universe, President Donald Trump — will be in Tampa for Turning Point USA’s weekend get-together, and Democrats are looking to frame the group’s views as extreme in messaging to voters.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor held a virtual news conference ahead of this weekend’s Student Action Summit to discuss “MAGA extremism.” They framed Republicans as pushing for forced birth for 10-year rape victims, tax breaks for billionaires, and overturning elections they don’t agree with.

“Turning Point USA is an extremist group,” Castor said. “They are known for misinformation. They are known for promoting election fraud, misinformation. They’re known for promoting COVID-19 misinformation. They promoted the Jan 6 rally.”

A mobile billboard telling people that the MAGA Republican Agenda is too extreme and dangerous for America will be circling just in case that hadn’t occurred to the summit’s attendees. The event is expected to draw some 3,000 attendees to the Downtown Convention Center in Tampa.

Turning Point USA did not respond to an inquiry regarding the Democrats’ characterization of the Tampa event.

Street furniture just outside of the center has been plastered with posters advising parents on where they can get COVID-19 vaccinations for their kids, in case Gov. Ron DeSantis’ refusal to order them for county health departments is affecting them.

In addition to Trump, DeSantis is set to attend. Castor riffed about DeSantis’ role in Florida’s position as 45th in the country for student spending, his promotion of “(Vladimir) Putin-style” civics lessons that she argues whitewash aspects of American history, and his position on COVID-19.

“Though there’s no scientific or medical reason for Gov. DeSantis not to have ordered the COVID-19 vaccine (for kids), he did it to play to his base,” Castor said. “But how outrageous it is that he’s willing to put the health and safety of our kids in our community on the line, willing to sacrifice them to his political ambition?”

DeSantis has explained his position that the vaccine has not gone through enough testing and clinical trials, despite the attestations of the vaccination’s safety for kids from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Mayo Clinic and others.

The weekend will have its popcorn-worthy moments, however, Castor said, particularly with DeSantis and Trump under the same roof.

“It’s going to be interesting to watch them duel in their personal political self-interest here this weekend,” Castor said.

But she argued voters shouldn’t be distracted.

“There are very dangerous consequences to their extreme agenda,” Castor said, predicting that DeSantis, although quiet now, will call for a total ban on abortion in Florida, without exceptions for rape or incest.

This “celebration of youth and freedom” in Tampa will also feature Donald Trump Jr., Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Rick Scott, and U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, to name a few.

“Let’s box it, underline it, put it in a circle,” Harrison said.

“They will do anything for power and to help line the pockets of their friends and their biggest donors, no matter what it costs everyday folks, no matter what it costs America, and even including our freedoms. Their attendance at this extreme convention should remind Americans who these Republicans really are and what’s at stake,” he added.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Don’t Look Up

    July 22, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    If Americans want safer streets, safer shopping experiences, safer large gatherings, allowing women to manage their own healthcare needs, non-government intrusion into America’s school instruction and an end to book burnings……REPUBLICANS NEED TO BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE.


  • Joe Corsin

    July 22, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    Trump before the riot: “It’s the end of America! Fight like hell or special people are gonna die!”
    Trump during the riot: “Oh sht! Go home.. you’re very special!!!”
    Trump after riot: “The special people must be punished for the attack.”

    Took the idiots for a ride and then threw them under the bus!!!!!

  • Susan Marie Hoffa

    July 22, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Don’t even want to imagine that the Republicans still reminds me of authoritarian ,Nazism and dictatorship . All the crazy white people were out to attend this hypocrisy of a Democracy in FL.desantis with his don’t say say,saying are teaching sex Ed to K-3rd is not true,denying lives lost from covid,taking away voting rights. We need. New party in this country. Fight for the Constitution and your rights. Ban AR-15’s

  • Al

    July 23, 2022 at 10:35 am

    To tell the truth most are not billionaires and other countries give them the death penalty.
    What a win.

  • Al

    July 23, 2022 at 10:42 am

    Freedoms comes in mysterious ways don’t but in with control freak

  • Just a comment

    July 23, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    I m not in támpa. More at Sarasota

  • Yeah

    July 23, 2022 at 11:27 pm

    I am not into politics either but certain signatures are working here for works

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn