The Florida governor put the politics aside to ask Joe Biden for federal help , unlike his vote against assistance for the Hurricane Sandy victims.
In the wake of the hurricane Ian has devastated areas of Florida and the nation, the attention of politics in America is shining more than ever before on Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor who is a emerging star from the right, and likely presidential candidate in 2024.
After his election the year 2018, DeSantis has made his reputation as a brutal warrior of culture, a ally to Donald Trump but also perhaps his most formidable rival.
DeSantis has been a proponent of an extreme policy on issues ranging from immigration to election integrity, branding himself as Trumpist in policy, but more mainstream in his character and temperament. He has pushed for “don’t affirm gay” laws in Florida schools, and has utilized taxpayer funds to transport two planeloads of immigrants from the border of southern Texas to Massachusetts which is a state that is governed by Democrats.
This move has sparked outrage, an investigation and legal actions. Pete Buttigieg stated that the governor was “hurting people to draw attention”. However, this did not stop a governor who was playing to the Trumpist base. As for his next move DeSantis said he’d fly another planeload of uninvolved refugees to Delaware which is in the state where Joe Biden has a weekend home.
Then the hurricane Ian struck. Like the many ambitious Republicans in the past – including the most well-knownly Chris Christie of New Jersey who’s photos together with Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 were believed to be damaging to him in the primary of 2016 DeSantis realized he had to speak to President Obama.
On Wednesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked: “Given how politicised things are currently Are you sure you’ll get the support from federal officials Florida is in need of?”
DeSantis added: “So I actually spoke with the president, and the president said that he would like to help. We did, therefore, submit an application for reimbursement for in the coming 60 days, at 100 percent. This is a significant gesture of support, but it’s also a major storm.
“We live in a highly political time, but you knowthat in times when lives are at stake, entire life is on the line and they’ve lost everything, and you’re unable to put politics aside for a moment, then you’re not likely to be able to do it.
“So I’m willing to work with anyone who would like to help the people in south-west Florida as well as across our state.”
The critics were quick to draw attention on Hurricane Sandy which ravaged eastern coasts 10 years ago. They also questioned to explain how DeSantis viewed the issue of federal aid back then.
DeSantis has been elected to Congress during November of 2012, and was an early member of the Freedom Caucus, the far-right House group that would evolve into the family comprised of Trump supporters and those who deny the election that it is today.
Sandy was a disaster that struck in the last week of October, which was unusually far to the north, causing havoc to New Jersey and New York and causing more than 100 US deaths. A few months later, in the month of January, 2013, DeSantis was among from the 67 Republicans who voted against the $9.7bn national aid plan to Sandy victims.
The president said at the time: “I sympathise with the victims of Sandy’s devastating storm. I am in sympathy with the victims of Sandy and think that those who bought flood insurance should get their claims be paid. In the same way that the program is allowed to grow its debt by an additional $9.7bn without a plan to offset the costs by cutting other areas is not fiscally responsible.
“Congress shouldn’t authorize billions of dollars in new borrowing without balancing the costs elsewhere. If a family is maxed out on its credit card and is faced with the necessity of making new purchases then it must prioritise by cutting spending elsewhere … This “put all the blame on credit cards mindset is a major reason why we’re over $17 trillion of debt.”
The times are changing. Today DeSantis has budgeted for $12 million in federal Covid relief funds, to fund efforts to help move people to Democratic states faces “one of the most devastating floods we’ve ever experienced” and is in need of federal assistance.
“Dear President,” his formal aid request was made. “I ask you to make an Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Florida in response to the hurricane Ian and authorize and provide all categories of assistance for individuals and public assistance.”
In the light of his comment about aid to Sandy victims to reckless homeownership, DeSantis stated that Ian said, Sandy will “hamper local economic activity … Federal assistance via the Household and Individuals program can help ease the budget deficits of households”.
Reporters noticed. In response to New York Times, a spokesperson for DeSantis said that the governor is “completely focused on hurricane relief” in addition to saying: “As the governor said earlier, we do not have time for pettiness or politics.”
Late-night comedians have plenty of time debating the hypocrisy of DeSantis – and his pettiness.
Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show on CBS Maybe said it in the most succinct way: “If you can, remove yourself from the path of the storm. In the worst case scenario, you can inform Ron DeSantis that you’re Venezuelan and maybe he’ll take your into Martha’s Vineyard.”