DeSantis defends widely-criticized anti-LGBTQ ad

DeSantis defends widely-criticized anti-LGBTQ ad
Gov. Ron DeSantis, commander in chief of the Florida National Guard, addresses the crowd during a change of command ceremony at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center on April 6. During the ceremony U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. James Eifert assumed command from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun, who retired after 36 years of service, U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. William Buchanan

Florida GOP governor Ron DeSantis is now personally defending the anti-LGBTQ ad his official 2024 presidential campaign promoted last week, which drew massive outrage from the left and the right for being homophobic and transphobic. The ad wrongly attempts to paint Donald Trump as being pro-LGBTQ by using some of his remarks from years ago, rather than his long record as president and presidential candidate of targeting and attacking the LGBTQ community.

“Identifying Donald Trump as really being a pioneer in injecting gender ideology into the mainstream, where he was having men compete against women in his beauty pageants — I think that’s totally fair game, because he’s now campaigning saying the opposite,” DeSantis said Wednesday to right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren, as NBC News reports.

The video, which went viral on Twitter and currently has nearly 25 million views, includes this message from the DeSantis campaign attacking Trump: “To wrap up Pride Month, let’s hear from the politician who did more than any other Republican to celebrate it.”

READ MORE: ‘Disgusting’: Pro-DeSantis Former GOP Lawmaker Pulls Support and Slams Florida Governor After Anti-LGBTQ Ad

Trump’s anti-LGBTQ record is extreme, despite his pre-presidential remarks and actions. The first half of the DeSantis video only focuses on Trump’s early, pre-presidential attempts to appear supportive of LGBTQ people.

The second half of the video, which tries to paint the Florida governor as a warrior against the LGBTQ community, has been widely mocked and derided, including as homoerotic. Reuters reported that portion of the video “featured a montage of muscle-bound men, bolts of electricity flying from DeSantis’ eyes, and activists lamenting what they characterized as his efforts to restrict transgender rights.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg over the weekend also mocked the ad while blasting its intent.

READ MORE: ‘Start Reading Some of Those Quotes’: Republican Defends Hitler’s and Stalin’s Writings at Moms for Liberty Breakfast

“I’m going to leave aside the strangeness of trying to prove your manhood by putting up a video that splices images of you in between oiled-up, shirtless bodybuilders,” Secretary Buttigieg said on CNN. “And just get to the bigger issue that is on my mind whenever I see this stuff in the policy space, which is, again: Who are you trying to help? Who are you trying to make better off? And what public policy problems do you get up in the morning thinking about how to solve?”

Log Cabin Republicans, which claims to represent “LGBT Republicans and straight allies,” despite endorsing anti-LGBTQ candidates, including Donald Trump for president in 2020, on Friday denounced the DeSantis video as “divisive and desperate.” The group also said, “DeSantis’ extreme rhetoric has just ventured into homophobic territory.”

Watch Secretary Buttigieg’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: DeSantis Using Same White Nationalist Rhetoric as El Paso Mass Shooter Who Slaughtered 23 in Anti-Hispanic Hate Crime

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