Fox News host Sean Hannity took his TV show on the road Monday – complete with two frequent guests, Congressmen Ron DeSantis and Matt Gaetz. Hannity stumped for DeSantis, a Republican candidate for Governor, in Fort Myers, Tampa and Pensacola.
In front of about 400 supporters during the last stop in Pensacola, Gaetz hit Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam with a jab – calling him a “Never Trumper” while DeSantis followed up with one roundhouse after another.
First DeSantis hit Putnam for the years he’s been in office.
“Adam Putnam is a career politician. He’s been in office since he was 22 years old. He’s never had a job outside of politics as an adult,” said DeSantis. “He is the choice of the insider class in Tallahassee. The good ol’ boy network. All of them in 2010 opposed Governor Rick Scott. All of them in 2016 opposed Donald Trump. And now they’re on with their insider candidate.”
DeSantis was also critical of Putnam’s stance on immigration. He accused Putnam of voting against a bill that would have put troops on the southern border, saying that proves Putnam is for open borders.
Congressman DeSantis then accused Putnam of killing legislation in the Florida Senate that would have required employers to use E-Verify to check a potential employee’s legal status.
“This guy says he puts Florida first, but if you have E-Verify, that’s good for Floridians; it reduces illegal immigration; it restores the rule of law; and it leads to higher wages for American workers,” DeSantis said. “So why would he (Putnam) do that? The reason why he did it, is because his special interest donors want cheap foreign labor. When he says Florida first, he means the Florida special interests come first – not you.”
DeSantis and Congressman Gaetz were the warm-up act during the rally in Pensacola. Just like every night on Fox News, Sean Hannity was the star of the show. Hannity threw plenty of red meat to the crowd bashing Democrats while showing full support for President Trump. He also took the opportunity to praise Gaetz and endorse DeSantis for governor.
“This young Mickey Mantle (Gaetz) over here. And it’s your next governor over there (DeSantis),” said Hannity. “They are the ones fighting the hardest with the President. I’m pretty disappointed with a lot of Republicans, I have to be honest with you. There are a lot of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), yes. The Freedom Caucus is the literal lifeblood of what is making Congress work today and they are in the heart of it. I’m very thankful to both of you for what you do everyday, which is why I’m honored to share the stage with you.”
The last three polls have Commissioner Putnam leading Congressman DeSantis by double-digits. But DeSantis is showing signs of a campaign on the rise. The Hannity endorsement is important to DeSantis because of the influence he has with conservative voters who watch Fox News. And with President Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis, the race for the Republican nomination for governor will likely tighten with just eight weeks before election day.