Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is being accused of making a racially offensive remark and “dog-whistling” to racists in an interview on Fox News Wednesday.
DeSantis, the newly nominated Republican candidate for governor of Florida, warned voters that voting for his Democratic socialist opponent Andrew Gillum would ruin the Florida economy, saying, “We need to build on the success of Gov. Scott. The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by enacting a socialist agenda with huge tax increases.”
Gillum, the Bernie Sanders-endorsed Democrat, supports socialist policies like single-payer “Medicare for All” health care and higher taxes. DeSantis contends that this anti-business attitude would undo the economic gains Florida made under Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s leadership.
Uh Ron DeSantis just said FL shouldn't "monkey this up" by electing Andrew Gillum pic.twitter.com/nDPp3Hx7zc
— Steve Morris (@stevemorris__) August 29, 2018
Gillum is black. DeSantis’ comments were almost immediately ripped out of context and interpreted as racially motivated.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 29, 2018
He called him “articulate” then said don’t “monkey” this up. They’ve only been running against each other for about 12 hrs in Florida.
— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) August 29, 2018
To say that @AndrewGillum – Florida's first #AfricanAmerican nominee for governor – got where he did bc he "performed" better and that electing him would "monkey this up" is dogwhistle racism and defines the @GOP in the age of @realDonaldTrump – #Florida must & will reject this!!
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) August 29, 2018
😳 no, no, no … i'm sure he just, uh … i mean, who doesn't say "monkey this up" when they're … he was trying to be respectful and not say "fkkk this up" that's why he paused and "mess this up" doesn't quite pack the same, uh, punch as, uh … hmmm … 🙊 https://t.co/fpUF7mMRM7
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 29, 2018
I’m also offended he called the black guy articulate. I wish white folks would stop staying this like it’s some sort of special talent for Black people to be able to speak properly.
The monkey line is just straight up racist. https://t.co/5j5WYQgz0Z
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) August 29, 2018
In a statement from DeSantis’ campaign made to Fox News, the campaign dismissed these characterizations as “absurd.”
“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterize it as anything else is absurd. Florida’s economy has been on the move for the last eight years and the last thing we need is a far-left Democrat trying to stop our success.”
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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