'Tonal whiplash': Ron DeSantis faces criticism over federal aid request for Hurricane Ian recovery
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is facing criticism over his request for federal disaster funding as his state faces the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
While it would seem relatively normal, and even expected, for states to receive funding for disaster recovery, things are a bit different where this situation is concerned. That is largely due to DeSantis' previous stance on disaster funding along with his mocking criticism of President Joe Biden.
Now, according to The New York Times, DeSantis has drastically changed his stance. Not only is he requesting funding, but he has also praised Biden for his efforts to assist the disaster-stricken state.
On Wednesday, September 28, the Republican governor appeared on Fox News where he suggested to Tucker Carlson that now is a time to put politics aside.
"As you say, Tucker, we live in a very politicized time,” DeSantis told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night, as he detailed his request for full federal funding. “But you know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything, if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to.”
The Times' Matt Flegenheimer explained the shift in DeSantis' stance on federal funding.
"The tonal whiplash for Mr. DeSantis reflects a different job and a different moment — a Tea Party-era House Republican now steering a perennially storm-battered state dependent once more on federal assistance to rebuild," Flegenheimer said. "Yet even in the context of his term as governor, the hurricane has required Mr. DeSantis to test another gear."
Flegenheimer also recalled how DeSantis has often used his platform to politicize critical issues. "He has, to date, often used his executive platform to elevate himself to Republican rock-stardom, positioning himself as a possible 2024 presidential contender with a series of policy gambits that can feel precision-engineered to maximize liberal outrage," he wrote.
Using the immigrant relocating controversy as an example of DeSantis' actions, he added, "His most recent stunt — flying undocumented Venezuelan immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard — reinforced that he is more than willing to turn the machinery of the state against specific political targets. He has suggested that the next plane of immigrants might land near President Biden’s weekend home in Delaware."
In response to criticism over his past handling of storms, his office insisted that he is “completely focused on hurricane response.” “As the governor said earlier,” the spokesman, Jeremy T. Redfern, said, “we have no time for politics or pettiness.”
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