Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis uses Waukesha tragedy as re-election campaign crutch

Press conference comments were recycled in the evening email from the campaign.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis uses Waukesha tragedy as re-election campaign crutch
Gov. Ron DeSantis closed Monday with a message from his campaign about the media’s “optional reality” regarding recent events in Wisconsin, again syncing campaign messaging with that from the official side.

At a press conference on Monday, DeSantis offered his opinion about an attack at a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. DeSantis suggested then that the driver of the SUV that killed six people at that event was motivated to do so by “media lies” about Kyle Rittenhouse.

The campaign email conflates coverage of DeSantis’ gubernatorial duties with media coverage of the massacre and the aftermath. It also throws in references to parents protesting school board meetings.

“The corporate media eagerly labels frustrated parents speaking out at a school board meeting as ‘domestic terrorists’ but actively choose to look the other way when someone rams a vehicle into a parade of innocent people. That’s the current state of our media,” the email contends.

DeSantis does not provide examples of “corporate media” choosing to “look the other way,” instead he draws parallels between coverage of the Waukesha tragedy and that of DeSantis’ own management of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“Believe me — I know this first-hand. It’s the same agenda-driven bias with which they willfully ignore the truth in Waukesha that they’ve lied about my policies to lead Florida through crisis. The media banded together to fabricate a narrative that I was flippantly placing lives at risk. Now, Florida has the lowest COVID rates in the country,” DeSantis contends.

The Governor, perhaps rightly so, repeatedly said during the summer peak of COVID-19 that the surge was “seasonal,” and it is unclear here if he or his ghostwriter connect his “policies to lead Florida through crisis” with Florida’s currently low rates of COVID-19.

The call to action here is to sign a petition to “fight back against the biased media,” and DeSantis presents himself as the champion of his mailing list.

“We can’t let the media continue to tear our country apart. This buck stops with me. Let’s fight back together,” the Governor urges.

The latest campaign email focused exclusively on Waukesha. It left out commentary on Rittenhouse entirely, despite the Governor’s claim during his official press conference that “media lies” could have led to the tragedy in Waukesha.

“We will see what the actual motivation was. Very well may have been in response to what happened with Kyle Rittenhouse. And you have to wonder if that’s the case, almost assuredly this guy’s view of Rittenhouse was colored by all these media lies,” DeSantis contended.

During the Monday press conference, DeSantis also offered a fumbling defense of Rittenhouse’s “self-defense” in Kenosha last year.

“When you’re self-defense, it doesn’t matter, you know, kind of what race. But they would say that he shot — most people didn’t know he shot three White people … So that’s what the media’s been doing. They tend to point a target on law enforcement’s back, but this is just wrong, and these lies have got to stop,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis had previously used his campaign account to advocate for Rittenhouse against “defamatory” media. He urged Rittenhouse “to sue every corporate media outlet and every moronic commentator who smeared him into oblivion” after the not guilty verdict was official.

“We need to fight back against attacks on law enforcement, against the smearing of innocent people by the media, against the censorship of the truth by Big Tech, and against those who seek to eliminate our right to defend ourselves and our communities,” DeSantis said then.

This article first appeared at Florida Politics.

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