Joe Biden tweaks Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott in Tampa remarks

Biden Tampa
The President messaged against entitlement 'sunsets' and pitched Medicaid expansion to a partisan crowd.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott each routinely play up their feuds with the President, but on Thursday Joe Biden returned fire.

During remarks in Tampa, the President disparaged both the Senator who continues to feud with him over entitlement programs, and the Governor who talks up his ongoing “fight” with the President routinely at press conferences.

For Scott, the President’s words continued recent recriminations that ranged from allusions to Scott’s “12-point plan to rescue America” at the State of the Union, to more pointed putdowns at a Wisconsin speech before the Tampa remarks and distribution of Scott’s policy pamphlet at the Tampa speech.

Scott has argued Biden is a “tax cheat” who should “resign” in an ad running through Friday in the Tampa market.

Biden alluded to the “spirited debate” at the State of the Union, noting that he “read from Sen. Scott’s proposal” as well as one from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

“They were offended, liar, liar,” Biden recounted, mockingly repeating Republican critiques of Biden’s comments. “I reminded them that Florida’s own Rick Scott was the guy who ran the Senate campaign committee for Republicans last year. He had a plan to sunset. Maybe he’s changed his mind. Maybe he’s seen the Lord.”

Describing Scott’s proposal for reauthorization of entitlements every five years, Biden said it would be “likely to get cut drastically” were that the case.

“The very idea that the Senator from Florida wants to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block every five years, I find it to be somewhat outrageous. So outrageous that you might not believe it,” Biden said, even though Scott has contended he does not want to cut those programs.

Biden read the provision in the plan to “rescue America” regarding reauthorization.

“If it doesn’t get reauthorized, it goes out of existence,” Biden noted, adding that Scott said “just yesterday” that “he still likes his proposal.”

“I guarantee you, it will not happen. I will veto it,” Biden said to applause.

Earlier Thursday, Scott challenged Biden to a “debate” and urged the President to name the “time and place.” But what’s clear is that the President won’t indulge and will continue to leverage the power of the executive branch over the rank-and-file Republican Senator.

For DeSantis, who alternated periods of brief collaboration with Biden after the Surfside condo collapse and a hurricane last year with more sizzling remarks when the President was out of earshot, Biden also had some choice words.

Biden challenged the current Governor on Medicaid expansion, noting that “the federal government picks up 90% of the cost” and “the state only pays 10%.”

“Only 11 states, including Florida, said, ‘No, no, no, we don’t want Medicaid.’ No, I’m serious. Over 1.1 million people in Florida would be eligible for Medicaid if Gov. DeSantis just said, ‘I agree to expand it.'”

“This isn’t calculus,” Biden noted, adding that eight rural hospitals have closed and seven others are in danger of closing, a third of those facilities in the state.

“The only reason Medicaid expansion hasn’t happened here is politics. It’s time to get this done.”

Meanwhile, Biden had kind words for attendees, including DeSantis’ defeated November opponent.

“I don’t think you’re finished yet,” the President said to Charlie Crist, who lost in epic fashion, with even traditionally Democratic strongholds flipping to the GOP last fall.

Biden noted that Medicaid expansion “would have been done if (Crist) had gotten elected.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Bye Omar

    February 10, 2023 at 8:36 am

    Biden is a senile and incompetent President. We don’t want you here Joe. Go back to the cesspool of DC.

    • cassandra

      February 12, 2023 at 12:36 pm

      Be sure to remind retirees of that when Fraud Scott and the Republicans take away their Medicare and Social Security.

      PS: DeSantis is trying to get to Cesspool Dc

Comments are closed.


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