Ron DeSantis says men with Nazi flags were ‘not true supporters’

DeSantis WMUR
'They are trying to divide by using that as a weapon against me.'

During a televised Ron DeSantis town hall in New Hampshire, the problem of displays of Nazi iconography in Florida proved to be a topic of interest beyond the state’s borders.

Asked about people who purported to be supporters of his who had “flags that said DeSantis 2024” and “Nazi, swastika flags,” DeSantis said he didn’t “think that they are” his supporters, before suggesting that the display was part of an “operation” against him.

“Well, first of all, when they’re doing that, understand those are not true supporters of mine, that is an operation to try to link me to something so that it’s me,” DeSantis said Friday during an interview on WMUR’s “Conversations with the Candidate.”

“And what I would say is there are people that are doing things like that. They are trying to divide by using that as a weapon against me. Those were not my supporters because if they were my supporters, they would be on the side of every step I’ve taken been nobody that’s been stronger on these issues in any part of the country than me,” DeSantis said, regarding to pro-Israel policies and beefing up security at Jewish Day Schools.

DeSantis then went on to equate the fight against the purported Nazi “operation” against him and anti-Semitism in the state of Florida to the United Nations.

“And as president, we’re going to fight organizations like the United Nations. When they target Israel, we’re going to fight against the BDS movement when they try to single out Israel as the world’s only Jewish State. We’re going to go after these third world countries that have become hotbeds of anti Semitism. We’ve always stood strong, we will continue to stand strong and that’s just the way it’s going to be,” DeSantis vowed.

Purported Nazi demonstrations have been on the uptick of late, with increased brazenness and visibility of the groups whether they brandish pro-DeSantis signs or not. One high-profile incident, near Disney World, happened earlier this summer.

He occasionally has addressed them, such as in 2022, one recent occasion when a group of neo-Nazis lined a bridge in eastern Orange County, hanging the swastika flag and banners — including a banner with the pro-Donald Trump slogan “Let’s Go Brandon” — and yelling profanities and antisemitic slurs at passing cars.

He was more concerned with Democrats talking about the issue in remarks after the fact.

“So what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to do with it, we’re not playing their game,” DeSantis said back in 2022.

“Some jackasses doing this on the street, first of all, state law enforcement is going to hold them accountable because they were doing stuff on the overpass. So they’re absolutely going to do that, and they should do that,” DeSantis added before going back on the political counteroffensive.

“But I’m not going to have people try to smear me who belong to a political party that has elevated antisemites to the halls of Congress,” DeSantis said, singling out Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

In a tweet posted after the incident and later deleted, press secretary Christina Pushaw responded to Twitter outrage over the Orlando Nazi demonstration by asking, “Do we even know they’re Nazis?”

Pushaw then sought to clarify that statement. “I don’t know what you mean by ‘denying Nazis.’ I was referring to this event in VA, when a group of Democrats dressed up as White supremacists to discredit a (Glenn) Youngkin rally,” she told Florida Politics at the time.

Similar demonstrations including Nazi regalia and pro-DeSantis flags recurred in 2022.

Meanwhile, former senior aides to his presidential campaign oversaw the creation and distribution of a video featuring a Nazi symbol: the Sonnenrad, a circular symbol associated with Nazi Germany that appears near the end of the clip as something of a halo around the Governor’s head.

DeSantis’ campaign has already fired one aide, speechwriter Nate Hochman, who shared the video and reportedly had a hand in creating it.

___

Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

A.G. Gancarski

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


16 comments

  • He’s not credible

    August 4, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    New Hampshirites are very unlikely to buy into the headfakes of a lousy-at-retail politician. There’s a decent chance the campaign will be toast by primary day, and will almost certainly be over by the day after the Florida presidential preference primary in March.

    • Earl PITTS "The Ronalds UnOfficial Campaign Manager" American

      August 5, 2023 at 7:22 am

      Good Mornting America,
      We’ve actually captured some of those flag wavers, interogated them, and found them to be paid Dook 4 Brains leftist agitaters. Each and every one broke down and cried for their mothers as we scrubed their fake tatoos off their arms. We took them 10 miles out of town, took their shoes and cell phones, and made them walk back to their mom’s basement apartments in the truely humane “catch and release” process.
      Thank you America,
      EPA

      • Jay Smif

        August 5, 2023 at 9:48 am

        Earl, we all know that you know every word of the “Horst Wessel Song” by heart, you drooling conservative nazi slave.

  • My Take

    August 4, 2023 at 10:20 pm

    The Nazis were moreso fans than donating supporters.

  • Nazis Die

    August 4, 2023 at 11:44 pm

    Florida is Naziland

  • Michael K

    August 5, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Ron has been courting the white Christian nationalists and radical right wing white supremacy groups all along. They most certainly are his supporters.

  • My Take

    August 5, 2023 at 5:12 am

    I hate Florida Nazis.

  • Rotten Ron

    August 5, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Poor little ronnie – he’s out there trying to sell his woke agenda and all anyone wants to talk about are his nazi supporters. Must be those damned democrats again. The little guy can’t seem to catch a break. Life is so unfair.

  • My Take

    August 5, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    The Nazis know who share their “values.”

  • Trump for Firing Squad

    August 5, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Commie Ron wants the Government to take over and run businesses like he is trying in FLoriduh, that is communism.

  • Mark miller

    August 5, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Ron descant is campaign is the new remake of hogans hero’s, a bunch of clowns. Best thing was that the good guys always came out on top. Ronnie white boots is going down.

  • PeterH

    August 5, 2023 at 4:33 pm

    The DeSantis attempt at reset is in first gear! In another month he’ll be telling readers that he hardly knows Donald Trump!

  • Sarah

    August 6, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    If Ron truly believed these Nazi’s were liberals, don’t you think he would have waged the same heavy handed response against them as he has waged against every other life he doesn’t support? He’s proven he only believes in free speech and less government intervention when it’s his belief system. Yet, the Nazis are still there cheering him on.

  • My Take

    August 6, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    When Nazis love you, it’s time for reappraisal.
    But DeSSlantus is always right.

  • My Take

    August 7, 2023 at 10:36 am

    Reichsmarschall Ron, bringing order to tò the woke of Florida.

  • Dont Say FLA

    August 8, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Rhonda says Nazi groups are not true supporters, but he’s absolutely delighted at any support from anybody whatsoever.

Comments are closed.


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