Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis has warned voters in a Fox News interview not to “monkey this up” by electing Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum.
The interview came after Gillum made history Tuesday night by becoming the first African-American gubernatorial candidate to earn his party’s nomination in Florida.
DeSantis, currently a representative in Florida, made a pitch to voters after Gillum won his party’s nomination. DeSantis said he would continue to legacy and policies of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who won victory in the Republican primary in a Senate race in the state.
DeSantis wasted little time in his attacks of Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Fla.
“Florida elections are always competitive. And [Gillum] is a guy who, although he is much too liberal for Florida, I think he’s got huge problems with how he’s governed Tallahassee. He is an articulate spokesman for those far-left views and he’s a charismatic candidate. And I watched those Democrat debates, none of that was my cup of tea but, I mean, he performed better than the other people there. So, we’ve got to work hard to make sure that we continue, Florida, going in a good direction. Let’s build off the success of we’ve had [under] Governor Scott. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not going to work. That’s not gonna be good for Florida.”
Later, DeSantis’ campaign backtracked by releasing this statement.
New statement from DeSantis comms director @StephenLawsonFL: “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.” #flgov pic.twitter.com/4OcWPiJB7x
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) August 29, 2018
The Florida’s race for governor has been billed by political pundits as a referendum of sorts. DeSantis has been endorsed and proudly backed by President Donald Trump. Gillum, a progressive, has earned the endorsement of Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.