Ron DeSantis rolls eyes at Charlie Crist’s ‘dictator’ charge
The gap is widening?

Crist DeSantis
‘I think the people that are dictatorial are the ones that want to lock you down.’

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’s not an autocrat. He’s a trendsetter.

During a news conference in Orlando on Thursday, a reporter asked DeSantis to respond to U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist’s accusations that the Governor is a “dictator.” Laughter from the audience of DeSantis’ supporters drowned out the end of the reporter’s question as he smirked and rolled his eyes.

Crist, DeSantis’ Democratic challenger, frequently uses the “dictator” and “autocrat” label to criticize the Governor over his policies on abortion and education material, namely restrictions on “woke” instruction and discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Crist has also likened DeSantis to a “wannabe dictator” after his decision to suspend Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren over Warren’s stated refusal to enforce bans on abortion and gender-affirming surgery. All of those policies and actions currently face court challenges.

However, when defending his record, DeSantis immediately pivoted to his long-held opposition to COVID-19 lockdowns.

“I think the people that are dictatorial are the ones that want to lock you down. I think the people who are dictatorial are the ones that wanted to lock kids out of school for a year, which all of them wanted to do here in Florida, and I stopped it and made sure the kids could be in school,” DeSantis said.

“I think it’s dictatorial to say that someone should lose their job based on their choice about whether to get a COVID shot or not. So that’s just the reality.”

In the first month of the pandemic, DeSantis ordered restaurants, barsbeaches and more to close to the public, positions he initially resisted. But since the summer and fall of 2020, DeSantis and Florida have become symbols of freedom for the COVID-19 lockdown and mandate resistance.

Last fiscal year, Florida was the leading state in both domestic and international net migration.

“People vote with their feet,” DeSantis said. “People were not begging to get into San Francisco over the last two years. They were not begging to get into New York. They were not begging to get into Chicago or Minneapolis. People were doing whatever they could to get to the state of Florida.”

During a speech in Iowa in 2021, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem implied DeSantis was pretending he never shut down beaches. But on Thursday, it was DeSantis who accused others of rewriting their record on the pandemic.

“Now there’s a lot of revisionist history. Everyone says, ‘Oh, we were supporting the Governor all along.’ No, that was not true,” DeSantis said. “I was out there on my own doing what I thought was right, and I was willing to take whatever political consequences came my way.”

He didn’t elaborate on who those turncoats are, and his Press Secretary, Bryan Griffin, didn’t shed much more light.

“He was referring to critics — especially those claiming to be on the side of freedom — who were pro-lockdown and wanted to keep kids out of school or were apathetic when the Governor was standing alone (keeping) Florida open,” Griffin said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


47 comments

  • Tom

    August 25, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    I watched the presser, Gov stomped on the lies bout B.S. dictator.

    Every Floridian enjoys all Freedoms and Liberties. America’s Gov provided all freedoms unlike lockdown Govs states.

    Everybody had benefited because of his fairness. Florida is a better state and growing.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 25, 2022 at 2:15 pm

      Yeah freedom for the rich. For everyone else, freedom t-shirts😆

    • Lee Roller

      August 25, 2022 at 8:37 pm

      Is that regular or sugar-free Kool Aid?

  • SteveHC

    August 25, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    Oh he’s an autocratic for sure lol. One of the absolute worst in the USA, actually, entering the Fascist zone in fact.

  • Impeach Biden

    August 25, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    Charlie going down in flames as the Red Tsunami is coming. Corsin / Offen moving to Kalifornia to be with their people.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 25, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      Red Tsunami when Fat Cammack do horrible face sit, give you good scrub 💋🍩😆

      • Hope

        August 25, 2022 at 4:31 pm

        You should be a spokesperson for Biden. Impeach Biden! If that doesn’t work out you would make a good lobotomy patient. You need one immediately!

  • Don’t Look Up

    August 25, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    Tiny hands two has taken his gloves off!

    LOL

    • Impeach Biden

      August 25, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      I take it you are referring to the elf Fauci. 🤣

      • Lee Roller

        August 25, 2022 at 8:39 pm

        You and Greasy Ron clearly don’t know what the elf you’re talking about.

  • PeterH

    August 25, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    From DeSantis statement:

    “I think the people that are dictatorial are the ones that want to lock you down. I think the people who are dictatorial are the ones that wanted to lock kids out of school for a year, which all of them wanted to do here in Florida, and I stopped it and made sure the kids could be in school,” DeSantis said.

    1. No one was “locked down” anywhere in any state in the USA. During the pandemic every American was free to take a walk, go to grocery store, take grandma to the pharmacy and take the kids on a bike ride.

    2. Because of DeSantis’s Covid policies and his dictatorial culture war 9000 teachers have left their jobs in Florida’s classrooms. DeSantis is hiring college dropouts to replace the vacancies. Labeling his Covid school polices as successful reminds us that 50% of third graders CAN NOT READ.

    If Americans want women to control their own bodies, qualified teachers to replace DeSantis’s culture wars in classrooms, intelligent teacher-student conversations concerning the social issues facing Americans in the 21st century, non-bullying discussion about classroom students who are different, common sense gun regulations, and a new honest approach on how best to address climate change……AMERICANS MUST VOTE ALL REPUBLICANS OUT OF OFFICE. REPUBLICANS ARE AMERICA’S PROBLEM.

    • Jerry

      August 25, 2022 at 8:42 pm

      1. Businesses were forced to close. Many small businesses, restaurants and bars went out of business. The big companies survived and got richer. The little guys went bankrupt. So yes, you did try to enforce a lockdown on people by forcing businesses to close. Just like you were trying to force a vaccine mandate by making it a requirement to have a job. You wanted businesses to enforce your mask mandates. You liberals tried to make corporate America be your stormtroopers. People like DeSantis, the Supreme Court, and the Florida legislature took those teeth away. And that’s why you are angry. We all caught on to what you tyrants were trying to do and we stopped you.

      2. As for your comments on the schools…That’s why we need to start teaching math, science, reading, and writing instead of this woke and CRT nonsense. And I certainly don’t want my kid going to school forced to wear a mask for a virus that poses nearly no risk to children. Look at the school board election results this past Tuesday. Parents are sick and tired of what you liberals are doing. If liberal teachers want to leave……bye!

      • PeterH

        August 25, 2022 at 10:39 pm

        Jerry is a anti-vaccine Trump-DeSantis MAGA minority. That should tell you everything you need to know about him and his posts.

    • Tom

      August 25, 2022 at 11:17 pm

      Dickheads, peter h., lee, Steve h.
      DeSantis is the whiz kid Gov, whizzes on you 3 joyfully.

    • Tom

      August 26, 2022 at 6:14 am

      Known fact that blue states closed businesses and states. Peter h is clueless.

      Gov Ron kept Florida open, Florida’s 2.7% unemployment is now pre pandemic.

      DeSantis Saved Florida, families and kids with open schools. Peter h is a liar, blue state Govs closed states all over country.

      Florida’s school vacancies is a national challenge. DeSantis has raised teacher educators pay twice, with bonuses. Several states have much higher educator vacancies.

      He has moved to address vacancies.

      Clueless liar peter h.

  • Margaret Straub

    August 25, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Desantis thinks he’s God. I’m tired of him dictating womens choices in our state. Wanting to hire under educated civilians to teach our kids. The don’t say gay law removing books that taught us all. And when it came to covid shots making sure all his donors and the very wealthy got them before everybody else! Do you all remember that?

    • Jerry

      August 25, 2022 at 2:25 pm

      Florida’s abortion law allows abortion for up to week 15. Which is exactly what most European countries are doing. In fact there are only 6 countries in the WORLD that allow abortion up to the minute of birth. If that’s what you want, it’s a very radical position.

      As for COVID shots. I don’t want them. So I don’t care. Your Charlie Crist and Joe Biden want to FORCE them on everyone. You can’t possibly claim to support liberty and freedom while supporting the government forcefully injecting experimental vaccines into you!

      • marylou

        August 25, 2022 at 3:06 pm

        Women are not having abortions up to the minute of birth. Look at reliable sources not “pro-life” propagandists–who admit to wanting to control “inappropriate behavior” and “end contraceptive mentality”!

        Desantis will demand a total ban at his November Special Session after the election. He followed Catholic Church orders to veto contraceptives, promised 6 week ban in 2018, signed 15 week ban at a church, said Dobbs is “answer to prayers”, and promised “further protections for life”. No exceptions for rape, incest, or elementary school girls.

        In Europe, free abortion, contraceptives, healthcare, and social supports are available for mothers and babies .

        • Tom

          August 25, 2022 at 3:57 pm

          Just lies from abortion blood hands mary who.

          Yes, Dums demand to full term.
          Period, full stop.

          • Lee Roller

            August 25, 2022 at 8:41 pm

            You poor, gullible schmuck.

          • Tom

            August 25, 2022 at 11:05 pm

            Lee. Putting the “DICK” in Dickhead.
            Kiss my ass liberal jack off.

          • Tom

            August 25, 2022 at 11:10 pm

            Let’s abort you Lee and Mary!
            Since you both believe in after birth!
            You pieces of Adam of Schiff on a stick?

        • Jerry

          August 25, 2022 at 4:12 pm

          Then why was Chuck Schumer’s bill in the Senate permitting abortion up to the minute of birth? That’s the bill the Democrats are trying to pass. They don’t want compromise or middle ground. They didn’t even try to just go as far as Roe. Their Senate bill went even FURTHER than Roe did. Democrats want zero restrictions on abortion claiming it’s all protected healthcare decisions of women. Yet, at the same time these clowns claim we have no right to decide what injections get put in our bodies. Remember that battle cry “my body, my choice.” Notice the Dems don’t even say that anymore because they know how hypocritical it makes them look.

          • Tom

            August 26, 2022 at 5:49 am

            Yes, known fact except to Dick head abortionist like Lee and Mary who that Schumer’s bill, in which 49 Dem senators voted yes, supports after birth abortion. As does Pelosi’s bill in House. Facts are funny things Lee.

          • marylou

            August 26, 2022 at 2:18 pm

            A full term pregnancy ends with labor & delivery or c-section, not an abortion. “Minute of birth” is a “pro-life” lie.
            The reason for not putting a time restriction on abortion is that the later in pregnancy that an abortion is needed, the more essential it is to get the fetus out immediately to save the woman’s life. “Pro-lifers” like to get people to imagine women just decide on a whim right before a baby is born that they’re not interested in being a mother, after all. They appeal to emotions to stop people from asking themselves why would a woman who has gone through morning sickness, peeing every 1/2 hour, waddling around, eating only healthy food, picking names, telling her partner & everyone else, answering strangers’ questions, etc., suddenly on her due date, wake up and say “oh, to hell with this, I want to go to that party, not sit around breast-feeding all night”. Doesn’t happen.

            What does happen is when something goes tragically wrong that late in a pregnancy a doctor doesn’t have time to consult with an attorney and committee, and worry if some “pro-life” judge playing doctor and god, will send her/him to prison for saving the woman’s life. Women actually die waiting for doctors to get permission to do abortions.

            Schumer knows a law is needed, not to encourage everyone to have an abortion, but to make sure that when one is desperately needed it will be available. It’s impossible for a law to cover every possible circumstance or moment where abortion is necessary, and politicians aren’t doctors (there are misinformed politicians who believe that during rape “a woman’s body shuts down and she can’t get pregnant” and that ectopic pregnancy embryos “can be re-implanted in the uterus”.) Medical decisions have to be left to the doctors.

            (sorry this explanation is so long!)

  • Charlie Crist

    August 25, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    Yeah caveman conservative missteps have been driving the GOP into the ground for the last 20 years. Don’t complain or riot when it becomes impossible to get a Republican into the office of the presidency. Only increased acceptance of far right ideology and increasing greed will lead to another GOP administration.

    • Arnold Gibbs

      August 25, 2022 at 8:19 pm

      Charlie, remember when you were one of those “CAVEMEN? Whatever the political clothes you need to put on to get elected.. We are tired of your BS Charlie. It is time to get off the stage.

      • Charlie Crist

        August 26, 2022 at 12:02 am

        ^ Hadn’t got the sense that God gave an ape…

  • Ron DeSantis is a communist

    August 25, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    If I were a business owner, I would say that it is indeed pretty authoritarian to tell me I can’t fire people for being a danger to others by refusing a free and safe vaccine. That should be the employer’s decision, not the government’s.

    • Jerry

      August 25, 2022 at 8:14 pm

      But you think it’s perfectly fine for the government to FORCE business owners to fire employees that don’t get vaccinated? If you want it to be up to the business, then a business has a right to not require it too. Right? Liberals didn’t want it that way. Our senile president tried to go around the constitution and try to force OSHA to enforce a vaccine mandate. You are OK with that?

      And the vaccine doesn’t even do anything! Even vaccinated people are spreading it! So how is an unvaccinated person, who chooses to be, a danger to anyone else? Joe Biden has been vaxxed 4 times and he still caught it and was still spreading it. This vaccine was useless. All it did was make Pfizer executives extremely wealthy. They are all billionaires now.

      • Ron DeSantis Hates Small Businesses

        August 25, 2022 at 11:01 pm

        Did I say that it’s fine for the Government to *force* business owners to fire employees to get vaccinated? I mean, I think that OSHA has a valid concern about unvaccinated people spreading disease, but that’s neither here nor there; and not my root complaint about what Florida is forcing private businesses to do.

        The vaccine DOES work. Did you notice that Biden, despite being even older than Trump, was never on the brink of death like Trump was in October 2020? Biden was never hospitalized, or at serious risk of a poor outcome, and that’s because he was vaccinated. No one ever promised that the vaccine would prevent you from catching a disease, but they did promise that it’d greatly reduce the risk of death from it, and as it happens, that’s exactly what the vaccine has done. It does reduce the risk of spreading the virus, too, because you’re not as contagious for as long. Breakthrough infections are usually far more mild than an infection in an immunologically-naive person.

        Also, I’m pretty sure Pfizer executives were billionaires before COVID, too.

        • Tom

          August 26, 2022 at 5:43 am

          Moron, Dim wit and sack of Adam Schiff, are you serious?
          There were no vaccines available when ex potus 45 was ill.
          Operation warp speed was not available, and offered yet. As for Biden, we will never know where he was or his situation. They hid him as always, his Doc wasn’t available either. Media as always totally complicit. Save it ballls less fake moniker!

          • Tom, learn to read, please.

            August 26, 2022 at 6:05 am

            Tom, did you read what I wrote? Maybe dont call people dimwits when you fail at basic reading comprehension. My point is that Biden faired better than Trump BECAUSE he was vaccinated, whereas Trump was not.

        • Tom

          August 26, 2022 at 6:51 am

          Pfizer researched Covid vaccine on own. They fully participated and accepted American dollars for mass production of the vac along with other companies. They benefited. That was warp speed.

          Furthermore, they knew they had a vaccine for distribution ready in late October, and purposefully and with malice refused to announce its ready availability in December, til 7 days after U S election. Pathetic.

  • Tom

    August 26, 2022 at 6:37 am

    Dim wit, dumb ass the vaccines were not available. You don’t offer a comparison when it’s not offered to provide the comparison.
    Kiss my ass you pathetic fake moniker bastard!

    Trumps warp speed provided it. Clueless Biden has 4 shots btw, he and Jill who yesterday retested for Covid keep on getting sick.

    Shove it you your pie hole! Your whole outline is toilet paper. Kiss my ass.

    • Charlie Crist

      August 26, 2022 at 8:20 am

      Trump was a criminal..will catch charges. You pro crime sociopath… don’t back the blue. You’ll be arrested as well eventually…for neo nazi stuff.

      • Tom

        August 26, 2022 at 10:14 am

        Go suck some ass Joey corsin, idiot Elliot and mental Alex.

    • Tom is illiterate

      August 26, 2022 at 3:11 pm

      Tom, and I mean this as politely as possible — go fuck yourself. I was making a point that the vaccine protected Biden when he caught COVID-19, and would have protected Trump if it was available for him, but since it wasn’t, Trump got severely sick while Biden was fine. I’m not attacking Trump — it wasn’t his fault that the vaccine wasn’t available. Operation Warp Speed was one of the only good things to come out of the Trump administration.

      Frankly, given your poor reading comprehension, I’m surprised you can read ballot instructions.

      • Tom

        August 28, 2022 at 7:00 am

        Pussy, you fake moniker can’t take his ass getting kicked!

        You ball less coward, piece of Adam Schiff. LMAO, Loser!

    • Tom is a moron

      August 26, 2022 at 3:13 pm

      Tom, and I mean this as politely as possible.. Are you illiterate? I was making a point that the vaccine protected Biden when he caught COVID-19, and would have protected Trump if it was available for him, but since it wasn’t, Trump got severely sick while Biden was fine. I’m not attacking Trump — it wasn’t his fault that the vaccine wasn’t available. Operation Warp Speed was one of the only good things to come out of the Trump administration.

      Frankly, given your poor reading comprehension, I’m surprised you can read ballot instructions.

      • Tom

        August 26, 2022 at 6:58 pm

        Dick head, you did not say that nor did you articulate it. Biden’s had 4 vacancies, it’s not even a fair comparison, let alone accurate.
        Going there is demented but it was Trump so that justifies it.

        I don’t care that now you want to honestly acknowledge warp speed.
        You mean like sleepy Biden and that pathetic Harris telling people not to take it. Or acting like they saw it through invention.

        You are a pussy, certainly not a man when you hide behind a fake moniker!
        I could care less what you think.
        So long Pussy!

        • Tom Is a Sad Boy

          August 27, 2022 at 1:54 am

          Lol, seriously now, what is wrong with you? I explained that I was trying to illustrate the effectiveness of the vaccine. I wasn’t attacking Trump, I wasn’t attacking his handling of COVID, I was just making a point of comparison. Trump was very sick because the vaccine wasn’t available to him. Biden recovered just fine because he was able to get the vaccine.

      • Tom

        August 28, 2022 at 7:02 am

        Pussy fake moniker, no balls.
        Just a. Coward.

  • rosa

    August 26, 2022 at 9:04 am

    Rona DeSatan speaks with a forked tongue. Freedom? No so much. Little rape victim must have a baby she doesn’t want. Property owner can’t exclude Covid-19 infected visitors. Hippy can’t smoke pot. Peaceful demonstrations shut down under threat of arrest. Woke folk put down as “woke” as if that’s bad. We hate you, Rona. FYYCSMF

    • Tom

      August 26, 2022 at 10:16 am

      Yes your hate qualifies you to vote for chameleon loser, weather vane, flip flopper getting his ass kicked, tar and feathered! Enjoy it.

  • Rhonda Santis

    August 26, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Tom needs to get a life! Calling him dumb and illiterate is likely a compliment to this dumb human (human might be a stretch!). Easy to see why he would be a trumpster and same group follows Rhonda Santis.
    Why? Cuz you’re all too stupid not to realize you are being had! Don’t say we didn’t try to warn you! All you ever do in response to well thought out comments is swear and make fun of people. Well I guess it’s true then, birds of a feather get F$#@&# together. Who would touch him tho? No bird I know.

  • Tom

    August 27, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Another ignant soros Manchurian, ball less fake moniker. Where is your character? Just a coward. You are full of Adam Schiff on a Pelosi scarf.

    I talk facts and substance all the time.
    DeSantis saved Florida. Florida’ is number one thanks to him. I’ve provided facts on all pages. Spare me your Adam Schiff.

    You like the rest of the Manchurian nation are clueless. I am the FP legend. Ad you like many others prove it as you reply.

    Facts are funny things. See ya!

Comments are closed.


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