The Governor offered friendlier condolences the day before in New Hampshire, in the immediate wake of the President’s tumble at the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony, but went sharper with attacks in his Bluffton speech.
“So, you know, we saw the images yesterday of Biden stumbling around. And you know, honestly, you know, it’s a sad thing to see. You don’t want to see anyone do that,” DeSantis said.
The Governor then extended the metaphor between the President’s accident and national decline.
“But it was frustrating because honestly, that was symbolic of the state of our country. Our country continues to stub its toe. Our country continues to trip and fall. Our country continues to go in the wrong direction.”
The Governor addressed the issue in Manchester Thursday night, but did not lean into the attack, which was issued just before most live streams of the speech started.
“We hope and wish Joe Biden a swift recovery from any injuries he may have sustained, but we also wish the USA a swift recovery from the injuries it sustained because of Joe Biden and his policies,” DeSantis said to applause.
Though the visual of the President’s tumble on stage was concerning, White House Communications Director Ben Labolt says the President is fine after having tripped over a sandbag on stage.
DeSantis has had an oppositional relationship to the President with the exception of recovery efforts after the Surfside condo collapse and Hurricane Ian last year. But just as was the case when the President contracted COVID-19, DeSantis’ attacks got sharper as time passed from the initial incident.
“I want to wish the President a speedy recovery from COVID, and America a speedy recovery from Biden,” DeSantis quipped in July 2022 at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit.
While the initial reaction and language were similar in both instances, DeSantis got more rhetorically interesting in the days after Biden’s previous COVID-19 diagnosis.
“We just saw Joe Biden test positive for COVID, right? And I’ve said we obviously wish him well on that, but you know, this is a guy that’s taken how many booster shots? I mean, seriously, (he’s) done all this stuff and gets it.”