Florida Governor Ron DeSantis failed to meet with President Joe Biden during his visit to the Sunshine State to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia. His failure to meet with the President has prompted some to question the motivations behind his choice.
A Disruptive Presence?
According to a statement from DeSantis’ office, there were concerns that President Biden’s presence could potentially disrupt the ongoing recovery operations in the affected regions.
Politically Motivated Decision
However, some speculated that DeSantis’ decision to avoid Biden was politically motivated, as the two men are trying to clinch their party’s nomination in a bid for the White House.
DeSantis Is Critical of Biden’s Policies
DeSantis has been a sharp critic of Biden’s policies, as he tried to establish himself as a staunch conservative by implementing stringent policies on abortion, immigration and changing the way Florida teaches the Black History.
Biden, on the other hand, has been vocal in his support LGBTQ movement. He also adopted a more lenient approach to immigration and has been supportive of women’s reproductive rights.
Too Much Contrast
As DeSantis’ controversial policies have raised eyebrows across both parties and alienated minorities, some political pundits wondered whether DeSantis would draw too much of a stark contrast standing next to Biden on the same stage.
The Two Talked Ahead of Biden’s Visit to Florida
The president talked to DeSantis multiple times this week, and said on Friday that he and the Florida governor would meet in person during his visit to the state.
But DeSantis’s spokesperson said on the same day that there were no plans for such meeting adding that “the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”
No Plans Were Made
“We don’t have any plans for the governor to meet with the president” DeSantis’s spokesperson, Jeremy Redfern, told CNN in a statement.
On Friday, the White House said that the president, the first lady, Jill Biden, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator, Deanne Criswell, will travel to Florida on Saturday.
White House Releases a Statement
The visit was “planned in close coordination with Fema as well as state and local leaders to ensure there is no impact on response operations,” according to the White House statement.
“Your National Has Your Back”
“As I’ve told your governor, if there’s anything your state needs, I’m ready to mobilize that support,” Biden said during his visit to the affected areas.
“Anything they need related to these storms. Your nation has your back and we’ll be with you until the job is done.”
Biden “Is Not Disappointed”
Asked if he was disappointed that DeSantis did not join him during the visit, Biden said, “No, I’m not disappointed.”
“He May Have Had Other Reasons”
“He may have had other reasons. … But he did help us plan this,” Biden told reporters. “He sat with FEMA and decided where we should go where would be the least disruption,” he said.
A Direct Dial
A day before his visit, Biden said he and DeSantis had been in contact about the hurricane. “There should be a direct dial, the two of us – Governor DeSantis and I,” Biden said.
Others Criticize DeSantis
Still, DeSantis’ unwillingness to meet Biden during the visit earned him some criticism from Florida Democrats.
“By refusing to meet with President Biden, he’s proving again what we’ve known for years – Ron will always put politics over people,” Nikki Fried, the Florida Democratic party chair said.
Recovery Efforts Unaffected
FEMA said Biden and DeSantis’s failure to meet will not have any effect on recovery efforts.
Deanne Criswell, the head of FEMA, said her agency finished rescue operations and was focused on restoring power to affected regions.
She said less than 1 percent of Floridians were without power as of Saturday, although that figure was significantly higher in some areas directly affected by the hurricane.
Biden Meets With Rick Scott
During his visit to Live Oak, Biden received praise from Republican Senator Rick Scott for declaring an official disaster ahead of time.
Scott and Biden Compliment Each Other
“Can I just say something real quick about what the president has done? First off, the president did a great a job with the early declaration before the storm hit the coast,” Scott said.
“That was a big deal. It helped all these first responders.”
“The Governor Was on Top of It”
The president praised Scott and DeSantis. “The governor was on top of it,” Biden said.
Politics Overshadow Disaster Response
Politics hung over the response to the disaster, as DeSantis who is currently trailing former President Donald Trump and is looking to clinch the Republican nomination – and potentially oust Biden from the White House.
They Met Last Year
DeSantis met with Biden when the president traveled to Florida last year after Hurricane Ian, before the Florida governor had formally announced his White House bid.
White House Requests More Money
The White House has asked for an additional $4bn to address natural disasters as part of a supplemental funding request to Congress.
That would bring the total to $16bn and highlight the danger of extreme weather patterns which come at increasingly higher costs for US taxpayers.
“We Ended Cancer” – 17 of the DUMBEST Things Biden Said
Throughout his more than five decades in political life, Joe Biden has gained notoriety for his verbal gaffes and missteps. “We Ended Cancer” – 17 of the DUMBEST Things Biden Said
Teachers Federation: Ron DeSantis Is a “Global Embarrassment” After New ‘Anti-Gay Law’ Forces Colleges to Drop Psychology Studies
In a recent development, the state of Florida has found itself embroiled in a contentious debate over the curriculum of its Advanced Placement (AP) psychology course. Teachers Federation: Ron DeSantis Is a “Global Embarrassment” After New ‘Anti-Gay Law’ Forces Colleges to Drop Psychology Studies
“White Teachers are the Problem” – Teacher Sues University for Racial Discrimination and Describes Being White as the “Original Sin”
In a recent legal battle that has attracted widespread attention, a former English professor at Pennsylvania State University is suing the institution, alleging racial discrimination against him and other white staff members. “White Teachers are the Problem” – Teacher Sues University for Racial Discrimination and Describes Being White as the “Original Sin”
Trump’s First Lady: Where IS Melania?
Despite Trump’s active campaigning in the run-up to the election, his wife, Melania, is strangely absent. Trump’s First Lady: Where IS Melania?
“A Disgusting Insinuation” – Trump’s Team Defend Legal Loophole to Raise Money for “Save America” Fund
Trump’s team defend the way they are raising money for the ‘Save America’ campaign as it spends money like water. “A Disgusting Insinuation” – Trump’s Team Defend Legal Loophole to Raise Money for “Save America” Fund
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wirestock Creators. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story
Source: The Guardian