A powerful federal union is outraged by comments made by Ron DeSantis after the Governor said he’d “start slitting throats on Day One” as part of an effort rein in what he describes as “deep state” bureaucracy.
During a barbecue event in New Hampshire Sunday, hosted by former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, DeSantis said: “On bureaucracy, you know, we’re going to have all these deep state people, you know, we’re going to start slitting throats on Day One and be ready to go. You’re going to see a huge, huge outcry because Washington wants to protect its own.”
What is it with Republican candidates who think they need to incite violence in order to win? This should be disqualifying.
Ron DeSantis "All of these deep state people, you know, we’re going to start slitting throats on day one.”
[Campaign barbecue event/New Hampshire] pic.twitter.com/XXOox9YO0o
— Christopher Webb (@cwebbonline) August 4, 2023
The video was first aired on MSNBC and began gaining traction in the press Thursday, prompting a response from the leaders of federal unions.
The National Association of Letter Carriers blasted the image as “dangerous,” “criminal,” and “out of line,” in what was an extended denunciation of DeSantis’ language.
“Gov. DeSantis’ violent threat against federal employees is appalling, shocking, disturbing and should alarm every single American. Our members, and all federal employees, have devoted their working lives to public service and do not deserve to be subject to violent threats and assaults, especially from politicians. Gov. DeSantis’ rhetoric would be extremely dangerous at any time, but is particularly disgraceful at a time when letter carriers are increasingly being targeted by violent criminals,” said NALC President Brian Renfroe.
Renfroe calls it “incomprehensible that a governor seeking the highest office in our country would call for violence against public servants.”
“Perhaps Gov. DeSantis has forgotten that any crime against an on-duty federal employee is a federal crime with severe consequences. His harmful threats of violence are criminal, will only exacerbate an existing problem, and have no place in elected office or our society,” he added.
DeSantis has used the image twice recently. In addition to vowing to start “slitting throats” last weekend in New Hampshire, the Governor said he wanted a Defense Secretary who was ready to “slit some throats” and be “very firm, very strong” in imposing their will as part of his effort to reform the military.
Other federal unions have denounced DeSantis. The American Federation of Government Employees‘ head said DeSantis had “no place in office” after the Governor’s vow to eliminate members of the federal workforce by violent means.
This is not the first time the Florida Governor has used the controversial terminology.
Last month, during an interview with the right-leaning outlet Real America’s Voice, DeSantis used the expression when talking about how he would change the hierarchy in the Department of Defense if elected.
“I think the idea that you take a flag [officer] or general officer who recently retired and put them as [secretary of Defense], I think it is a mistake,” the Governor said.
“You know, they may have to slit some throats. And it’s a lot harder to do that if these are people that you’ve trained with in the past or that you know,” DeSantis said. “So we’re going to have somebody out there, you know, be very firm, very strong, but they are going to make sure that we have the best people in the best positions, and there’s not going to be necessarily prior relationships that would cloud that judgment.”
Material from the Associated Press and The Hill was used in this report.