MSNBC Guest Thinks DeSantis 'Monkey' Comment as Bad as 'N-Word'

Arturo Kim
August 31, 2018

"Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace", Mr Lawson said in a statement.

Ron DeSantis at a rally with Donald Trump. DeSantis warned Wednesday: "The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up, ' in a comment several Democrats denounced as racist dog-whistling". That is not going to work. For his part, DeSantis thanked the president for "viewing me as somebody who could be a great leader for Florida". "That was absolutely a racist, disgusting statement", U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., said in a phone conference with reporters.

"If he thinks that in today's day and age Florida voters are going to respond to that level of division and derision, they're sick of it, " he added.

The DeSantis campaign said it would be "absurd" to characterize his remarks as racist.

DeSantis won his primary by touting his closeness to Trump.

Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for Florida governor, shared his support to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to implement a single-payer health care system. The winning Democrat, Andrew Gillum, did not lead in a single major poll before the votes were counted. Each is vying to succeed term-limited Gov. Rick Scott, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

"He says you want to abolish ICE, you say you want to replace it, that's basically the same thing", Berman said.

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During a morning television interview, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said DeSantis had fully embraced Trump's endorsement. In the race for governor, incumbent Republican Doug Doucy easily defeated his only opponent, while Democrat Davis Garcia, who's more of a progressive than a moderate, won his party's nomination. The president criticized Gillum on Twitter, calling him a socialist mayor "who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city". Overall crime was down in Tallahassee past year but the city saw a spike in homicides. "Congratulations, and on to November!", Trump tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday.

After Tuesday's primary, Gillum's campaign had just $200,000 left. Orlando-area businessman Chris King also ran, and finished last.

The FBI issued subpoenas to the City of Tallahassee more than a year ago. He was elected mayor in 2014 and is consistently rated as a person to watch in Democratic politics. He's a gifted public speaker who did well in debates, often receiving the most applause, but the FBI is investigating Tallahassee city hall for alleged corruption.

The DeSantis campaign clarified that his comments were directed at Gillum's policies, not the candidate himself.

On Tuesday, more than 3.5 million people voted out of 13 million registered Florida voters for a turnout rate of 27 percent, the highest for a non-presidential primary in the state since 2002.

"Traditionally the midterm really energizes the party that is out of office", said Brian Sobel, KTVU's political analyst.

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