Ron DeSantis says it’s ‘outrageous’ to use racist Jacksonville murder as ‘political cudgel’ against him

DeSantis Fox news
'I am not going to let anyone impugn me in that way and we will fight back.'

Florida’s Governor is taking to the national airwaves to augment his response to a tough question in Jacksonville.

During a hit on the Fox News ChannelRon DeSantis said it was “outrageous” to blame him for the killing of three Black people by a White gunman with swastikas drawn on his AR-15 last month at a Dollar General in New Town.

“It’s just outrageous to take an incident that’s really been a gut punch to our state as well as to the Jacksonville community and to try to leverage that as a political cudgel to use against somebody that you disagree with politically,” DeSantis said.

“I am not going to sit there and stand for that. I am not going to let anyone impugn me in that way and we will fight back.”

The Governor made the comments on “America’s Newsroom” Friday, just one day after the spirited confrontation.

“I think it shows, you know, part of the problem with our society that people would stoop to that level. We can have disagreements on issues, we can even be heated on issues, but to take some nutjob and to try to act like we were a part of that is absolutely absurd.”

The questioner, reported by Jacksonville Today to be a military veteran named Tim Robinson from Orange Park, asked DeSantis about policies that allowed guns to be used by “immature, hateful people (such as the man) that had caused the deaths of the people who were murdered a couple weeks ago.”

“You have allowed people to hunt people like me in broad daylight,” the questioner said.

“Well, listen, excuse me, I’m not going to let you accuse me of committing criminal activity. I am not going to take that,” DeSantis said.

The back-and-forth continued while the speaker was being escorted out of the brew pub.

“You don’t get to come here and blame me for some madman,” DeSantis said. “That is not appropriate and I’m not going to accept it.”

After the event wrapped, Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo had his say, contending the speaker had mental problems that overshadowed his message, while extolling the Governor’s “wonderful heart” and saying DeSantis was only blamed because he was “not the same color as these people.”

“What happened here was tragic and, you know, unfortunately the guy, the gentleman was obviously … I shouldn’t call him a gentleman. He was obviously crazy. Right? He was completely disconnected and he was insane, he was insane,” the state’s lead doctor said, seemingly referring to the shooter.

Ladapo said “there’s politics with trying to connect that,” adding that he believes that’s “just totally crazy as the Governor was saying,” and that DeSantis is a “good man.”

“My wife and I would never have left our state of California to come to the state if we didn’t, if he wasn’t a good man,” Ladapo said.

The Surgeon General called it “terrible that people take advantage of the fact that he’s a different color from the poor victims of that tragedy to try and tie him into something.”

“It’s immoral and unfortunately it’s reflective of what we’ve been seeing for, you know, for many years, but certainly during the pandemic where people hide reality and they spin it and they try and make you buy what they’re trying to sell you. And it’s not true. It’s a total lie, and they try and take advantage of the Governor just because he’s not the same color as these people,” Ladapo said.

Ladapo added that DeSantis “has a wonderful heart” and said “it’s terrible that they do that and it’s terrible that they get to get away with it so often just because he’s not the same color as the people who were harmed.”

“That’s the truth,” he concluded. “That’s the truth.”

The Governor came to Jacksonville for a vigil last month after the racist murder. He was jeered by some members of the crowd, before City Council member Ju’Coby Pittman urged the crowd to quiet down. DeSantis vowed to offer financial help to boost the security of Edward Waters College, where the “scumbag” gunman tried to go before he went to the store.

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


  • SteveHC

    September 8, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Florida’s hypocrite-in-chief pot calling the kettle black once again, as routinely is his want…

  • JD

    September 8, 2023 at 9:48 am

    ‘I am not going to let anyone impugn me in that way and we will fight back.’

    What the F*ck does he have to fight back with? Anger that he got called out for his policies and lack of action that caused this?

    If it wasn’t so rigged, the Wisconsin House GOP would be calling for impeachment. Oh wait, bad example – that is rigged. He is negligent in his duties at worst, and a horrible statesman at best.

    All the while he’s trying to capitalized on a potentially surging health crisis for political points to anti-masker dip-shittery crowd.

    Pathetic and shameless.

    Zero governance.

  • Rick Whitaker

    September 8, 2023 at 10:18 am

    there he goes again. blaming everyone and anything except for himself for florida’s problems is what desantis does. governing fairly is what he doesn’t do

  • Michael K

    September 8, 2023 at 10:31 am

    Tell me exactly what words and actions DeSantis has taken to condemn hate speech, generally, and racial hatred specifically, including denouncing the presence of the white supremacy movement here in Florida.

    He won’t because he’s courting that deplorable segment of the far-right MAGA base to win a primary.

  • Tjb

    September 8, 2023 at 10:31 am

    Watching the replay of the Fox piece, all that I saw was a lunatic, trying to a tough guy, coming off as a weak and ineffective leader.
    It was embarrassing to watch the reply.

    • My Take

      September 8, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      A two-bit redneck piunk way out of his league.

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    September 8, 2023 at 10:34 am

    He’s created an atmosphere here where literal Nazis are walking freely around Orlando and other places in the state. And he thinks it’s not his fault?

  • My Take

    September 8, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    “Just” preaching and using hate gets rightful blame too. Ýòu don’t have to be actively involed in the actual killings. Streicher got tried and hanged for it.

  • Biscuit

    September 8, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    “I am not going to sit there and stand for that.”
    The man doesn’t know up from down. Sit, stupid human, sit. Good boy.

    • Michael K

      September 8, 2023 at 1:06 pm

      Funny how Ron always becomes the “victim.”

      • ScienceBLVR

        September 8, 2023 at 1:36 pm

        And Lapado blacksplaining DeSantis’s white victimhood and “good man” status to us while throwing around medical terms like obviously crazy, and insane like those immoral pandemic folks hiding reality…

    • My Take

      September 8, 2023 at 2:53 pm

      Even a plant knows which way is up.

  • My Take

    September 8, 2023 at 1:15 pm

    DeSScumtis–slavery sympathist and race-murder provoker–is “outraged” that anyonè notices and mentions.

  • trump lost

    September 9, 2023 at 8:10 am

    At least DeSantis has his own Uncle Tom to set things straight!

  • best Governor

    September 11, 2023 at 3:17 am

    Governor DeSantis is the best Governor the state of Florida has had for many many years. Stop the Woke Agenda!!!!! slaves did learn valuable skills too. teach that blacks sold their own people into slavery in Africa, the white man did not go into the jungle and catch them like what was portrayed in Roots lol

    • My Take

      September 11, 2023 at 6:05 am

      Thank you, Mŕ. Chairman, Department of History, New College, Sarasota

  • Joe

    September 11, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Translation: “Waaaaaaaaahh!”

Comments are closed.


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