As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis prepares to launch his presidential campaign, NBC is pulling out all the stops to derail his bid before it gets going. On Monday, Henry Gomez wrote an article under the headline Ron DeSantis is learning that not every state wants to be Florida. Not only did Gomez not mention any anti-Florida states, he apparently can’t tell the difference between DeSantis’s criticisms of other states and jokes.
Gomez recounts a recent DeSantis speech:
In Georgia, a compliment quickly gave way to grievance. ‘One thing we’re no longer No. 1 in is college football,’ DeSantis told an audience during a visit to a gun store in March. ‘So I just have a little bit of a plea … just stop taking so many of our high school football recruits. Can you give us a little bit of a chance?’
It’s a joke about college football and how the University of Georgia has won two consecutive national championships while Florida schools have gone the opposite direction.
Gomez’s inability to comprehend a joke was also a fitting summary for the rest of his article. Gomez contends “a funny thing has happened as DeSantis travels the country with a ‘Make America Florida’ message that underpins the Republican’s soon-to-launch presidential campaign.”
That “funny thing” is that he “has found that not everyone wants to be Florida. And he has encountered spirited pushback from competitive fellow governors and GOP officials who believe that their states have done just as much, if not more, to advance a conservative agenda.”
Those are two very different claims and nowhere does Gomez cite Republicans who think DeSantis has gone too far. That other GOP governors think their records are more conservative does not mean they want to be less like Florida.
Yet, Gomez tried to make mountains out of molehills, claiming it is a “tricky task” for DeSantis to promote his accomplishments in Florida while praising other Republicans, such as Iowa’s Kim Reynolds or Utah’s Spencer Cox.
Gomez also sought to debunk DeSantis’s claim to run the “free state of Florida.” He cited New Hampshire GOP chairman Chris Ager for having “playfully jabbed” DeSantis and “ribbing” him for the fact that New Hampshire topped the libertarian CATO Institute’s Index of Personal and Economic Freedom. Gomez omitted that Florida is number two.
NBC has claimed to discover some truly earth-shattering news: Republican governors do Republican things and all they had to do to turn that basic fact of life into an anti-DeSantis hit piece was lose anything resembling a sense of humor.