Democratic politicians are taunting Ron DeSantis by inviting Floridians to their states

·3 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Feb. 24, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Feb. 24, 2022, in Orlando, Fla.AP Photo/John Raoux, File
  • Democrats are taunting Gov. Ron DeSantis by inviting Floridians to their states.

  • Invitations have been offered to New York City, Colorado, Connecticut, and California.

  • A DeSantis spokesman said Floridians "pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns."

Democratic politicians are mocking Gov. Ron DeSantis by slamming Florida's controversial laws and inviting Floridians or Florida businesses to their states.

It's a strategy that has been used recently by New York Mayor Eric Adams, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, and with a $105,000 ad buy over the July 4 weekend, by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight," Newsom says in an ad. "Or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom: freedom of speech, freedom to choose freedom from hate, and the freedom to love. Don't let them take your freedom."

The jabs come as DeSantis seeks reelection as governor and is seen as a potential contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Video: Florida growers trying to combat citrus infestation

DeSantis has become a leader in Republican culture wars, backing measures that include the state's 15-week abortion ban that's been blocked by a Florida judge, a math book bans on the basis of "critical race theory," and the law known as "don't say gay," which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in a "manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate."

Newsom, also the subject of 2024 speculation, targets Florida's policies on abortion, children's books, and LGBTQ communities in his ad, which shows a photo of DeSantis shaking hands with former President Donald Trump.

Asked to comment, DeSantis for Governor campaign spokesperson Dave Abrams said Newsom "might as well light a pile of cash on fire."

"Pass the popcorn for his desperate attempt to win back the California refugees who fled the hellhole he created in his state to come to Florida," he wrote in an email.

Adams' billboard campaign in Florida, criticizing the "don't say gay" law, urges Floridians to "Come to the city where you can say whatever you want."

"They're saying you can say whatever you want, but you know they're the ones that will force a mask on your face and muzzle you in public," DeSantis responded.

Other Democratic governors have made appeals to Florida businesses, including Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont's invitation to the Nutmeg State in response to a Florida judge temporarily blocking the state's 15-week abortion ban.

"This may be a time for you to think about taking a look at Connecticut as a place to move your business," Lamont said in a video address on July 1. "A place where maybe your employees feel more at home, perhaps you feel more at home, your customers could identify with our values."

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis did the same thing back in April, inviting Twitter and Disney to relocate to the Rocky Mountain state.

Polis called DeSantis' threats to penalize the companies "authoritarian socialist attacks on the private sector" and promised — tongue in cheek — that the state would "grant Mickey and Minnie full asylum in Colorado."

Abrams said Floridians "pay no mind to the pathetic smear campaigns from the Democrats and their allies in the corporate media."

"We're too busy enjoying the freedom Governor Ron DeSantis has created in the Sunshine State," he said in his statement.

 

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