TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Attacks on Casey DeSantis intensified this week when MSNBC guests called Florida’s first lady a “wily figure” and “America’s Karen.” The panel joked that “all kinds of names” exist for the Florida governor’s wife.
But while prominent politicians expect media scrutiny, it’s unusual to see such hostility towards a candidate’s spouse just weeks into a presidential campaign – absent some sort of scandal. So why does the mainstream media treat Casey DeSantis with such disdain?
Before DeSantis formally entered the 2024 race for the White House, Politico ran a story comparing Casey DeSantis to Lady Macbeth, the power-hungry character in Shakespeare’s tragedy of political ambition.
“The more complicated but also more instructive reality is that she is neither the fawning caricature she’s made out to be in conservative and even at times mainstream media nor a Shakespearean villain,” Politico wrote.
But DeSantis staffers and other media outlets quickly disputed the story, featuring “anonymous” sources in the governor’s sphere and a quote from longtime Trump loyalist Roger Stone.
Fox News contributor Joe Concha called out Politico and other Leftist outlets for their “elitism” that is “on full display.”
“Never would any of these so-called news outlets even consider reporting on Jill Biden in this fashion,” Concha told Fox News digital. “It’s activism. Not journalism. And objective news consumers stopped trusting the messenger a long time ago.”
In June, far-Left blogger Katie Baker at the Daily Beast described Florida’s first lady as “Walmart Melania” for wearing a “ghastly” leather jacket that read “Where woke goes to die.” Baker made an attempt to link the decision to the 2018 fashion statement by former First Lady Melania Trump when she wore a jacket that read “I really don’t care, do u?”
Baker also made a Lady Macbeth comparison, writing: “We’ve got a Sunshine State Lady Macbeth, in her green cape and white gloves, with her middling husband and her thirst for the crown… Whether the GOP’s base will respond to DeSantis and his wife trying to imitate Donald and Melania – whether they’ll be happy buying the knock-offs – is an open question.”
The Washington Post also attempted to disparage the couple in June with a story that focused on “tracing the power of Casey DeSantis.”
“Ron and Casey live as an inner circle of two,” the outlet wrote. “This insular couple, who didn’t let people in, who made Tallahassee into an island of their own power, was now asking to be seen and known.”
But Kayleigh McEnany called The Washington Post article “the most flattering hit piece I’ve ever read.” The Fox News Outnumbered co-host said the big takeaway from the story is that the couple has a great marriage.
“If this is the worst thing they have on the DeSantis’, wow, what a great family, a role-model family, I would say,” McEnany added.
CONSERVATIVE WOMEN SOUND OFF
The attacks on Casey DeSantis ramped up after the DeSantis campaign released a new ad last week featuring disturbing clips of Leftist policies. But conservative women have come to her defense after she boldly pronounced that America “must restore sanity in our society.”
“Every mama, every grandmama in every corner of the country will stand up and fight back by electing Ron DeSantis president of the United States of America,” Casey DeSantis said in the video.
Outnumbered panelist Emily Compagno hit back at the MSNBC commentators on Monday, calling their remarks “unacceptable.” Compagno argued that the term “Karen” is derogatory and prejudicial.
“For them to mock a woman who’s been an incredible figure in government as well as socio-politically in this country, who has done so much, including beat breast cancer, that was an ugly mockery,” Compagno added. “It has no place, certainly on mainstream media, but apparently because she is conservative, then all bets are off.”
FOX Business’ Lisa Kennedy Montgomery suggested the smears arise from jealousy.
“They’re incredibly envious of her position and what she has accomplished and what she continues to accomplish as a mother,” Kennedy said. “They’re essentially having to invent things to attack her for.”
Kennedy added that the media views Ron DeSantis as a significant political threat in the 2024 election, and the mainstream media are grasping for ways to knock Casey DeSantis down.
A “BADGE OF HONOR”
In an interview on Varney & Co., DeSantis said his wife wears the criticism as a “badge of honor,” explaining that she poses a threat to the left and doted on her as a fantastic wife, mother and first lady of Florida.
“So she and I kind of shrug it off because we know it just shows they view her as a threat, because the message that she was bringing in Iowa about the rights of parents and how we are not going to take this anymore with the left trying to indoctrinate our kids, they understand that that resonates not just with Republican parents, with independent parents and, yes, with Democrat parents,” DeSantis said, referring to her recently launched Mamas for DeSantis campaign.
Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer noted that while first ladies traditionally are treated respectfully, Casey DeSantis’ accomplishments, intellect and outspoken support for her husband have made her a target.
“I’m for the deference. I am for these old traditions,” Fleischer said. “They make the country better and stronger. And when you start to lose this, we’re losing another piece of Americana.”