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DeSantis: “Supporting Floridians Triumphs Over Politics”

As the governor focuses on helping Floridians in crisis, Hurricane Idalia marks a critical point in his political campaign.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Governor Ron DeSantis’ management of Hurricane Idalia’s aftermath could become a critical factor in how voters view him in the upcoming Republican presidential primary.

Campaign advisors for DeSantis have repeatedly made the case that it’s a two-man race between DeSantis and former President Donald Trump. But despite DeSantis’ initial statements that he’s less concerned about poll numbers, how he handles Hurricane Idalia offers him a chance to showcase his leadership skills to a national audience.


Taking a break from the campaign trail to focus on Florida’s storm preparedness and recovery efforts, DeSantis has held numerous press conferences as early as 4:00 am. He surveyed the hardest-hit areas as soon as the winds calmed and says he is prioritizing the immediate needs of Floridians.

“We were ready for this,” DeSantis told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “We had search and rescue teams staged, we had 5,500 National Guard, we had 1.2 million gallons of gasoline in the event of fuel shortages, and we had over 30,000 linemen to restore power.”

“As soon as the storm passed, our first responders were on the scene checking on people,” DeSantis added. “The good news is that we have not seen the type of loss of life like we did at Hurricane Ian in the coastal areas. They did experience significant storm surge, most of the people did evacuate. And so, we’re cautiously optimistic that we’re going to end up okay on that.”


DeSantis showed effective leadership after Hurricane Ian last year. The governor coordinated efforts with local, state and federal agencies to rescue hundreds of thousands of stranded Floridians and complete emergency road and bridge repairs ahead of schedule.

“Listening to the governor, as well as the search and rescue people, it’s quite amazing how Florida is responding,” Great Van Susteren said on Newsmax Thursday morning.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, who joined DeSantis to assess the damage, said President Joe Biden spoke to DeSantis on Wednesday. When asked if he sensed politics in his conversations with DeSantis, Biden said the governor was focused on taking care of the people in Florida.

“No, believe it or not,” Biden responded. “I know that sounds strange, especially the nature of politics today.”

“I think he trusts my judgment and my desire to help, and I trust him to be able to suggest that this is not about politics,” Biden responded. “This is about taking care of the people of his state.”

At a news conference Wednesday, DeSantis said supporting Floridians comes before politics.

“We have to deal with supporting the needs of the people who are in harm’s way or have difficulties, and that is to triumph over any type of short-term political calculation or any type of positioning,” DeSantis said at the Tallahassee emergency operations center.