It started with a tweet and has now reached a full-blown personal escalation in the race for governor. Democrat Andrew Gillum called his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis “unstable” and then when later asked for comment, Gillum took it one step further.
Gillum, responding to video comments made by DeSantis, called the former Congressman and Navy veteran “unstable.”
Unstable and untrustworthy. Floridians deserve so much better than this. https://t.co/YvvjaChY4y
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) September 24, 2018
In the video Gillum referenced in the tweet, DeSantis appeared to be passionately asking reporters why they accuse him of racism while not asking Gillum about alleged anti-Semitic viewpoints. DeSantis claims two groups that back Gillum, Dream Defenders and Council on American-Islamic Relations are anti-Israel.
Hours later, Gillum doubled-down on his tweet when questioned by reporters during an event in Miami. Gillum nodded in agreement when asked if he used the word “unstable” and seemingly took responsibility for the tweet. “I saw Mr. DeSantis come apart, apparently,” said Gillum in reference to DeSantis’ video comments. “The heat of this campaign appears to be getting to him.”
Gillum then went on to stoke Democrat allegations that DeSantis is racist or associates with racists. “I would expect that for Mr. DeSantis to expect that as part of his campaign.”
— David Smiley (@NewsbySmiley) September 24, 2018
Just a week ago, Gillum pledged a positive campaign, tweeting “.. the other side is only going to get more absurd, divisive, and hateful. We are going to take the high road..”
Sharing this so you all know the other side is only going to get more absurd, divisive, and hateful. We are going to take the high road, but I need you with me. I can’t do this alone. Help us out at https://t.co/fm0ODFFGWU. #BringItHome https://t.co/NNAL3SaBT4
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) September 16, 2018
The DeSantis campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment. Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice reacted on Twitter saying, “This is a joke, right?” And then referenced a story that broke earlier Monday where Gillum’s former chief of staff acknowledged the City of Tallahassee broke all-time murder records during Gillum’s tenure as mayor.