DeSantis Walks Back "Monkey It Up" Comment Regarding Gillum

Arturo Kim
August 30, 2018

News media outlets such as The Hill and CNN framed the comment as racial, given that DeSantis's Democrat opponent, Andrew Gillum, is black.

"It's very clear that Mr DeSantis is taking a page directly from the campaign manual of Donald Trump", he said.

"I think the Florida electorate is going to reject the politics of division", Gillum said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The DeSantis Campaign put out a statement saying, "Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses..."

He said socialism is "not good for any race, color or creed", and that he won't let Democrats and critics "obscure a debate" on the issues with claims of racism.

On Wednesday morning, President Trump tweeted his support for DeSantis and described Gillum as a "failed socialist mayor" who had allowed crime to flourish. Has my total and complete Endorsement! He beat former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, who was a centrist.

Gillum scored a surprise victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary for one the United States' most competitive races for governor.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted out that not only did DeSantis win, but that "his opponent in November is his biggest dream".

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The district covers the southeastern corner of Arizona from most of Tucson down to the U.S-Mexico border. He also won 61 percent of the county's precincts, including big percentages in the precincts around the University of Central Florida and the majority African American precincts in west Orlando and Pine Hills.

Marquez Peterson is the CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber.

The congresswoman believes her message will be attractive to independent voters in November.

A liberal Florida Democrat pulled off an upset victory in the state's primary for governor while President Donald Trump's favored candidate cruised to victory for the GOP.

"This race is about every single one of us", Gillum said in his victory speech Tuesday night. The Facebook group, which DeSantis has moderated, is not establishment Republican by any means-and its other administrators have ranged from Corey Stewart (the Virginia senatorial candidate who has been praising Confederate Army figures like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson) to Kelli Ward (who lost to establishment pick Martha McSally in Arizona's recent GOP senatorial primary). Political newcomer Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt was able to knock out former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett in a close race.

DeSantis has emphasized his conservative credentials and military career, but it was the support by Trump that turned the race around in his favor.

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