Just 12 hours after winning the Republican nomination, Congressman Ron DeSantis is being accused of racism by Democrats supporting Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
DeSantis is under fire for using the colloquialism “money around with” during an interview on Fox News.
DeSantis said, “Florida elections are always competitive. And this is a guy who, although he’s much too liberal for Florida, I think he’s got a huge problems with how he’s governed Tallahassee. You know, he is an articulate spokesman for those far left views. He’s a charismatic candidate. And you know 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 we continue Florida going in a good direction. Let’s build off the success 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 going to be good for Florida. So, I’m going to fight for what I believe in because I think I’m the guy who can really lead Florida in a good direction.”
DeSantis spokesman Stephen Lawson denied the claims. “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”
Gillum addressed the controversy hours later during a live interview on Fox News.
“In the handbook of Donald Trump, they no longer do whistle calls. They’re now using bullhorns,” Gillum said. “Ron DeSantis, he’s very clear on day one that he’s willing to go down to the gutter, and in our opinion, we’re going to win this race because we’re going to stay high.”Democrats and their enablers in the traditional media jumped on DeSantis’ use of the phrase calling it a “dog whistle” for racism.
The term “monkey this up” isn’t listed as a common colloquialism but the definition of the similar phrase “monkey with” is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “to handle or play with (something) in a careless way.” The word “monkey” has been used as a racial slur against African-Americans.
Is this a case of racism or just politics at play? “I’m not offended at all,” said Mike Hill, a former Republican state representative who is also black. “They’re not offended either. They are pretending they are just to have something to attack our future Governor Ron DeSantis.” Hill was victorious in his primary race Tuesday night to return to the House in an overwhelmingly white, Republican district.
What’s clear from day 1 of this 70 day race is the hypersensitivity that exist when politics and race collide. It could make the Gillum-DeSantis fight for governor a very ugly general election campaign.