Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried is again calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to condemn Nazi ideology days after protesters with swastika flags, “DeSantis Country” banners and posters with antisemitic imagery and slurs converged on a Republican conference in Tampa.
In a letter posted online Tuesday, Fried called the Saturday neo-fascist protests outside the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit a “disgusting display” well deserving of censure. But as was the case earlier this year, when similar demonstrations occurred in Orlando, DeSantis has been slow to speak up.
Fried first demanded a response from DeSantis on the Tampa demonstration Sunday, two days after the Governor delivered a headlining speech at the conference. She suggested that despite their difference of political opinion, she and the Governor should be able to agree that hate isn’t welcome in Florida.
“We may disagree on polices, but if we as leaders don’t denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacists in our state, in our country, what are we doing here?” she said. “I’m asking you, Ron DeSantis, to denounce the Nazis that were here — here to celebrate your speech inside this convention center. They were holding your pictures yesterday.”
Mr. DeSantis, condemn these Nazis. pic.twitter.com/9EqOJc18WY
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) July 24, 2022
DeSantis has remained mum on the matter. So have other high-profile attendees of the summit, including former President Donald Trump and U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
The only featured speaker at the summit to condemn the group was U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, DeSantis’ predecessor in the Governor’s Mansion. In a Twitter post quoting similar condemnation from Florida Holocaust Museum Chair Mike Igel, Scott called the protests “a disgusting act” that “doesn’t belong in Florida, our nation or anywhere across the world.”
“We stand with our Jewish community against this hate,” Scott added.
Fried, who is the first Jewish woman to be elected to statewide office in Florida and the only current statewide elected Democrat, came under fire in January for comparing DeSantis’ leadership with the rise of Adolf Hitler. The Anti-Defamation League, which works to counter antisemitism across the world, called her comments inappropriate and offensive.
Fried said in her Tuesday letter that while she does not believe DeSantis is involved directly with the Nazi demonstrators, his silence on the matter is conspicuous.
“(Your) continued failure to speak out —especially when your name, image, and likeness is being co-opted by Nazis — is puzzling from a Governor who never fails to speak his mind,” Fried wrote. “Given the level of criticism you have directed at me over policy differences, it is deeply concerning that you cannot muster even a tweet against a group that glorifies genocide while using your name.”
She noted Scott’s statement and other such comments from elected leaders in Florida and Turning Point USA representatives denouncing the protesters for their “unacceptable actions.”
“In joining us in condemnation, you would stand with leaders from both sides of the aisle, who understand Nazism is incompatible with American values,” she wrote. “This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a matter of morality.”
But according to DeSantis and some in his camp, white supremacist demonstrations around the state are being used for partisan purposes.
After being prodded for days to say something about a pair of neo-Nazi protests held in Orlando in January, DeSantis called the participants “some jackasses doing this on the street” and said law enforcement would hold them accountable.
He had much more to say about the Democrats who called on him to respond, alleging they were highlighting his reticence to “distract from the failure” of President Joe Biden’s administration.
“They try to play games to try to politicize. Why would they do that? Why would they want to elevate a half-dozen malcontents and try to make this an issue for political gain?” he said. “We’re not going to let them get away with these stupid things where they’re trying to smear somebody unfairly, and I will not be smeared by them.”
DeSantis’ Press Secretary, Christina Pushaw, has questioned once whether some of the protesters waving swastikas and other antisemitic symbols around this year are truly neo-Nazis and not costumed Democrats trying to draw negative attention to her boss.
Shortly after videos of the January demonstrations spread across social media, Pushaw asked in a since-deleted tweet, “Do we even know they’re Nazis? Or is this a stunt like the ‘white nationalists’ who crashed the (Glenn) Youngkin rally in Charlottesville and turned out to be Dem staffers? I trust Florida law enforcement to investigate and am awaiting their conclusions.”
She later dismissed she was denying that the protesters were Nazis, following up with a post asserting that DeSantis “has ALWAYS condemned antisemitic attacks & hatred, and always will.”
“To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong,” she added.
July 26, 2022 at 7:47 pm
Vote RED for far right propaganda!!!
Vote RED for lies!!!
Vote RED for low wage slavery!!!
Vote RED for hate!!!!
Vote RED for anti-government terrorists!!!!
July 26, 2022 at 8:31 pm
“BLUE” runs the White House.
“BLUE” runs the Senate.
“BLUE” runs Congress.
Are you better off now with “BLUE” running the show for the last year and a half? How’s your investments and 401K doing? How’s the cost of all consumer goods since Joe took over? How’s crime in your city since Joe and his defund nuts took over? Southern Border? Is there one or did we just hand over Border Control to the Mexican Cartels?
If you have had enough of this nonsense then vote “RED” in November..
July 26, 2022 at 11:04 pm
^ Neo nazi propagandist….. filthy filthy, greasy greasy, nasty nasty neanderthal.
July 27, 2022 at 6:42 am
^ Standard leftist comment when you disagree with them. They shout you down. They show up to your house. They destroy your personal property. Yes it is their way or the highway.
July 27, 2022 at 7:08 am
^ Notice the blaming and the victim hood mentality of the conservative when they’ve behaved as an animal and then been called out for it.
Don’t Look Up
July 26, 2022 at 8:09 pm
It’s not just DeSantis who has failed to respond to this hate group that while waving a Nazi flag distributed literature blaming Jews for abortion. Where is the Republican outrage?
If Americans want safe streets, safe schools, safe grocery stores, safe shopping malls and safer public gatherings ….. they need to vote Republicans out of office. Republicans are America’s gun problem. Republicans refuse to impose limits on guns. DeSantis in particular wants no license requirements for any gun. He proposes an open carry without license.
If women want to maintain confidential reproductive health discussions with her doctor …….we need to vote Republicans out of office. Republicans are America’s problem.
I can recommend a recent NPR article on a Texas woman who with her husband were thrilled to be starting a family until her pregnancy went amiss.
Get involved! Vote! Vote Republicans out of office because they are incapable of governing.
July 27, 2022 at 10:14 am
Your delusional, typical leftist tone. Did you ever hear of the Second Amendment, show me in the United States Constitution where it states you need a permit to exercise a “right”. You and you alone are responsible for your safety, no one else is, period!
July 26, 2022 at 8:10 pm
Sorry Nikki, but this game doesn’t work anymore.
July 26, 2022 at 8:46 pm
Fraud’s days are coming to an end. She is more suited for the People’s Republic of California.
July 26, 2022 at 11:15 pm
Round of applause for abominable greasy greasy 😆
July 26, 2022 at 8:17 pm
It is every American’s responsibility to give Republicans a pink slip until they learn how to responsibly govern and stop representing white nationalist, Nazis, Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and other right wing deplorables.
July 26, 2022 at 8:45 pm
Fried and her friend, the so called Scientist Rebekah Jones are two peas in a pod. Those two both need psychiatric evaluation. That’s for you Peter H.
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David in Shoreline
July 26, 2022 at 8:37 pm
The attacks on Governor DeSantis are as predictable as the tides. DeSantis doesn’t need to attack Fried. Because she is absolutely zero threat.
July 26, 2022 at 8:42 pm
Fried is completely irrelevant. Looking forward to her vanishing from the Florida Political scene very soon.
July 26, 2022 at 11:05 pm
^ This guy is completely irrelevant…
July 27, 2022 at 6:50 am
^ Says one that would vote for Andrew Gillum again. He would rather support Gillum and his habit for drugs and boy toys rather than a leader that has helped Florida flourish during Covid.
July 27, 2022 at 7:10 am
Who Deathsantis? I know a lady who was making $10 an hour during the pandemic and had to eat her baby. Vote RED for low wage slavery!!!!!
July 28, 2022 at 11:14 am
Joe Corsin you are a lying troll. So glad most everyone has realized who is really destroying this country. It is obviously the demoncrats. Wait till Nov. and this commissioner of agriculture will be toast just like a lot of other fascists democrats. If you don’t like a Republican Florida you might want to consider moving to New York or LA. You would probably fit in better there. For someone who pretends you care about low wages it seems funny that it’s ok with you for Fried to withhold school lunches to these children of low wage workers if they refuse to push the dems radical sexual agenda on to young children. Democrats-always hypocrites.
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