Report: Anti-LGBTQ ad attributed to ‘Proud Elephant’ actually internal Ron DeSantis campaign production
Ron DeSantis. Image via AP.

The clip the DeSantis War Room retweeted was deleted nine days after widespread backlash.

The anti-LGBTQ video that produced a backlash against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign for President for its homophobic content was a self-inflicted wound — produced by someone in the campaign — the New York Times reported. Sunday.

The video, widely seen as a product of the “bizarre” depths of the internet culture, attacked Donald Trump as being too friendly to LGBTQ people and highlighted DeSantis’ record championing “the harshest, most draconian laws that literally threaten trans existence” as a good thing.

It was first credited to “Proud Elephant,” identified on social media as a “media and news company” and retweeted by the DeSantis campaign’s rapid response Twitter account, DeSantis War Room, on June 30. It went up on the last day of Pride month, which memorializes the beginning of the LGBTQ rights movement, and has been viewed 26 million times. But the initial “Proud Elephant” credit was just to give the campaign plausible deniability, according to Times reporting under the bylines of Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman.

“A DeSantis campaign aide had originally produced the video internally, passing it off to an outside supporter to post it first and making it appear as if it was generated independently, according to a person with knowledge of the incident,” says the article, which is largely about the DeSantis’ campaign reboot.

Republicans and Democrats both widely condemned the meme-filled video that flashed the words “this governor does not care,” after a smattering of commentator clips expressing astonishment at DeSantis’ daring in taking on the LGBTQ community.

Outlets from coast to coast were agog at the 73-second video that started with clips of Trump’s pro-LGBTQ comments. It pivoted to a mashup of, pulsing music, images of oiled-up bodybuilders interspersed with clips of DeSantis smiling broadly and various movie clips, including Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, an elite Wall Street mover and shaker who was also a serial killer, rapist, and cannibal in American Psycho.

“Is this the weirdest ad in American political history?” reads the headline in The New Republic, calling it a sign of DeSantis’ lean into homophobia. Mentioned in the video, former Olympic decathlete and transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner, called the video a “new low,” according to CBS News. The Log Cabin Republicans, which bills itself as the largest organization of LGBTQ conservatives, called the video “divisive and desperate,” in a news release.

Originally, DeSantis called the video “fair game,” since DeSantis’ rival Trump was a “pioneer” in injecting trans acceptance into the cultural mainstream by allowing transgender women to compete in his beauty pageants.

But then, it turns out, DeSantis — or somebody — did care. The original tweet the DeSantis War Room retweeted was deleted nine days after its posting. But the internet forgets nothing. Now the video lives under Twitter accounts such as “crazy ass moments in American politics.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • DeSantis has taking a page out of the Nazi playbook

    July 23, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    wow, it just gets worse and worse for DeSantis. He literally is evil. and the people that he hires are obviously out of the same mold! DeSantis needs to be investigated for abuse of power and corruption

    • JuliaStepan

      July 23, 2023 at 2:44 pm

      I am making really good money (80$ to 100$ / hr. )online from my laptop. I was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbor advised me she changed into averaging $200 however I see the way it works now.
      Detail Here———————————————>>>

  • QaNazis

    July 23, 2023 at 1:34 pm

    All Qristian Nazis must be held to account. Each and every one.

  • Michael K

    July 23, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    Disgusting and repulsive.

  • My Take

    July 23, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    The Party of Hate

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 23, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    “These are not everyone’s children. Children do not belong to the government. These are OUR children. And if you’re coming for our children, then we have a problem. Unless the children are LGBTQ+ in which case you’re the problem and your children are the government’s children, but only if your jurisdiction’s government is GOP. If you live in a liberal city, your children are the GOP controlled state government’s children. If you live in a blue state, your LGBTQ children belong to the SCROTUS. But other than that, our children are OUR children, not the government’s children.”

    …So says Rhonda.

    LOL @ Stupid Rhonda, can’t even open their own Kermit the Frog mouth with self contradicting themself.

  • PeterH

    July 23, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Government sanctioned hate and homophobia is what the DeSantis campaign for president is all about.

  • PeterH

    July 23, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Didn’t the SCOTUS affirm that PACs and SUPERPACS could not coordinate with the campaign?

    • Linda

      July 24, 2023 at 9:43 am

      Lots of campaign finance legal jeopardy for these two.

  • My Take

    July 23, 2023 at 9:40 pm

    Big UFO meeting in Congress this week.
    Do the MAGA misfits and anti-WOKE witless hate space aliens too?
    The further fringers claim they walk among us.
    I doubt they entered legally.

  • Never Backs Down Syndrome

    July 24, 2023 at 10:00 am

    Never Back Down except right before your release your new campaign video, and then again nine days later when you take that same video back down. It means they think we are a threat.

    If you back down twice, that’s two negatives which everyone knows makes a positive coming for our children. That changes backing down into, you know, backing up. We like backed up, not down. I think it’s interesting that there’s nothing to see here.

    • Linwood Wright

      July 24, 2023 at 1:54 pm

      Did you have a stroke while writing this?

      • Never Backs Down Syndrome

        July 24, 2023 at 3:16 pm

        I asked ChatGPT what Ron DeSantis would say, and then I copy-pasted it here

  • M. Mouse

    July 24, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Sounds like our little Governor Goofy shrunk away from the backlash to his “Manly Man” ad!

  • Ron DeSantis is a Fascist

    July 24, 2023 at 2:01 pm

    So I just watched the video, and all I can say is “What the actual F*ck was that?”

    Ron DeSantis is an absolute walking dumpster fire of a human being.

  • Joe

    July 24, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    The Disgusting Desantoses are liars and cowards, once again too weak-willed to own up to their own rhetoric and machinations. The Florida GQP should be ashamed to inflict these poseurs on the rest of the nation.

  • My Take

    July 24, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    He’s more a dirtball than a meatball.
    Or the balls the dungbeetles roll.

Comments are closed.


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