For the second straight evening, Gov. Ron DeSantis gave President Joe Biden a vote of confidence while being interviewed on Fox News, showing that hurricanes can, however briefly, halt politics as usual.
Tucker Carlson questioned DeSantis about whether the Biden administration would come through for Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The Governor affirmed he is “cautiously optimistic” that would happen.
“So, I actually spoke with the President, and he said he wants to be helpful,” DeSantis said. “We did submit a request for reimbursement for the next 60 days at 100%. That’s significant support, but it’s a significant storm.”
“We haven’t heard back from him,” DeSantis continued. “But I’m actually cautiously optimistic that we do. As you say, Tucker, we live in a very politicized time.”
“But you know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything, if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to,” DeSantis reasoned. “So, I’ll work with anybody who wants to help the people of Southwest Florida and throughout our state.”
DeSantis’ kind words about the man he has often called “Brandon” continue a recent rhetorical détente established not just in official side news conferences, but in another Fox News hit when the storm began its final approach to the state.
“It’s my sense that the administration wants to help,” DeSantis told Sean Hannity Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre asserted ahead of the appearance that DeSantis and Biden had talked and pledged “close communication.” That came after DeSantis opened the lines of communication at a news conference Tuesday.
“I’m happy to brief the President if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida,” DeSantis said.
“My view on all this is like, you’ve got people’s lives at stake, you’ve got their property at stake, and we don’t have time for pettiness,” he continued. “We’ve got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them, so my phone line is open.”
The White House is committed to demonstrating a dialogue. Its Hurricane Ian “fact sheet” released Wednesday makes repeated references to conversations with DeSantis.