In a new interview with the New Yorker, Rep. Randy Fine described a Florida Governor whose “quietness around the rise of Nazism” in the state led him to reverse his previous endorsement and back the former President.
“I had been very unhappy with the quietness around the rise of Nazism. And while I wasn’t beating the Governor up publicly over it, I was very vocal privately, asking why we were not using the laws that are in place. Why aren’t we taking this seriously? So were lots of his Jewish supporters,” Fine told Isaac Chotiner.
Fine objects particularly to DeSantis’ rhetorical position that the Nazis may be fake.
“I think he’s been very consistent. I don’t know if it’s the truth, but what he says is he doesn’t want to elevate them by talking about it. He questions whether they are real. He’ll call them fake, and he thinks that they’re doing it to make him look bad. And he has said that consistently for eighteen months.”
Fine also suggests Jewish Republicans have had disquiet with DeSantis for “two years because of the silence and the antisemitism.”
“The New York Times wrote a piece where they interviewed multiple donors of the Governor who said that they’d called him and said, ‘do something about it,’ and he wouldn’t do it,” Fine recounted.
The legislator’s comments follow the Governor defending his record on Meet the Press, saying he acted “swiftly and decisively” against neo-Nazis.
“Our record is second to none and we will continue to lead on these issues,” DeSantis previously told host Kristin Welker.
DeSantis also accused Fine of trying to achieve national prominence at his expense during the segment.
“He’s just trying to create a name for himself. So that’s all nonsense. Everybody knows that’s nonsense and don’t give somebody 15 minutes of fame just because they’re letting you try to, to do a preferred narrative just to hit me.”
“I mean, this guy was singing my praises a couple of months ago. He’s got his different reasons why he’s doing that,” DeSantis said, undercutting Fine’s personal experience, and reframing the discussion to his administration’s more aggressive response in the wake of Hamas’ attacks on Israel, which includes increased security around Jewish Day Schools and arrests of “people threatening to do harm to our Jewish community.”