Skip to content

DeSantis’ Detractors Seize A Hurricane Moment for Political Attacks

The saying goes that politics stops for nothing, and as Governor DeSantis deals with the threat from Hurricane Ian, his political adversaries brazenly continue their attacks.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Yesterday, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Charlie Crist seized on the moment to play “shadow governor” via Zoom from his couch – providing advice to the public on how to deal with the hurricane.

Others took the chance to attack DeSantis over his hurricane management efforts. CNN reporter Steve Contorno is one of those who can’t resist but seize the opportunity created by a potentially life-threatening weather situation to take stabs at Governor Ron DeSantis – evidently comparing apples and oranges as he attacks the governor for now working with officials that he previously criticized over authoritarian COVID measures.

“As DeSantis prepares Floridians for Ian, he is urging residents to heed advice from the same local leaders he suggested they ignore during COVID and praising a federal agency he previously alleged withheld aid to the state bc Biden was playing politics,” Contorno tweeted.


Contorno’s comment stirred up reactions from Floridians, who had perhaps hoped that in this case, CNN would be on their side rather than Hurricane Ian’s. Teacher Just Mindy wrote in reply to Contorno: “Please take note of people making vapid political points during a weather crisis that will kill people and destroy many people’s home and businesses. Please never take these people seriously ever again as they lack even a shred of humanity.”

MSNBC activist-journalist Lawrence O’Donnell also decided to take a swing at DeSantis based on the apples and oranges perspective  – quoting a story in The Daily Beast that insinuates that the governor cares about hurricane deaths, but not those allegedly resulting from COVID-19: "464 Floridians have been killed by 'tropical storm-related activity,' or hurricanes, since 1991. That’s 81,156 fewer than have been killed in the state by COVID," O’Donnell tweeted.


The View’s Joy Behar implied Hurricane Ian was impacted by the governor’s unwillingness to submit to the progressive solutions for potential problems stemming from climate change.

After reading a quote in which DeSantis said he was “not in the pews of the church of the global warming leftists,” Behar added, “This is what he thinks about climate change, and now his state is getting hit with one of the worst hurricanes [ever].”


​​Political communications strategist Sawyer Hackett tried shoehorning Martha’s Vineyard criticism into the governor’s hurricane response efforts. “It costs approximately $1,200 for someone to evacuate a massive hurricane like Ian. So with the $12 million in taxpayer funds Gov. DeSantis spent exploiting refugees, he could have covered those costs for 10,000 Floridians,” Hackett tweeted.

Ron Filipkowski, a CNN contributor, added in the remaining progressive gripes, tweeting: “Good thing right now that DeSantis spent the last year fighting CRT, Disney, ‘election fraud,’ and creating fake culture war issues instead of fixing our property insurance and affordable housing crises.”

Progressive radio show host Chip Franklin decided against a thin veil of professionalism, tweeting: “My thoughts and prayers for everyone in Florida preparing for Hurricane Ian, except for Ron DeSantis. F**k that guy.”


On Tuesday morning, Politico reporter Matt Dixon’s story teed up DeSantis for future criticism in the event of a disaster. The headline calls hurricanes “the true test of any Florida governor.” In addition to the questionable claim, the piece also incorrectly stated that DeSantis had not yet faced the challenge of a hurricane hitting the state. The story was later updated to include a correction, after many on Twitter pointed out Hurricane Sally hit Florida’s panhandle in 2020.

“Here’s the media praying for Florida to get destroyed by hurricane, just so they can have something to make DeSantis look bad,” David Reaboi, a Claremont Institute fellow, tweeted in response to the piece.


But some have chosen to highlight the governor’s work on hurricane mitigation and give positive feedback. Twitter handle Florida Grand posted DeSantis’ schedule in a video clip and wrote: “BREAKING: Our governor has been working nonstop to communicate with all of us Floridians and a multitude of entities to make the necessary plans for us to battle #HurricaneIan despite what some of the media say. Thank you @GovRonDeSantis for being there for us. #FloridaStrong

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder poked fun at the left’s insistence on politicizing the hurricane, tweeting: “Breaking satire… Sources say Joe Biden was unable to call Florida Gov. DeSantis in advance of Hurricane Ian, as the president was in meetings with Democrat leaders looking for ways to blame DeSantis for failing to prepare for Hurricane Ian.”

Instead of opining on DeSantis’ decisions, Alachua Chronicle editor Jennifer Cabrera lauded the governor’s work ethic, tweeting: “@GovRonDeSantis started his day with an 8 AM briefing and will end it with an 11 PM press conference. In between, he's had 3 other press conferences, 3 media interviews, and 22 official meetings/calls, including one with @POTUS. Show me a harder-working governor.”