Ron DeSantis promised a crowd in northwest Florida that he would wear Joe Biden out on the main campaign trail as he criticized the president for going on vacation before investigating the Maui wildfires.
The Florida governor was literally at home as he received a warm welcome from a military community and veterans on Okaloosa Island, Florida for his pre-debate party the day before he left for Milwaukee.
‘You know, just a thought experiment: If we had a Republican president, who in the midst of these fires and their aftermath, decided not to go and enlist to help the victims, but to go and sit on the beach, what would the media say if they tried to do that?’ DeSantis posed.
He answered his own question by saying the media and Democrats would “cry bloody murder.”
As DeSantis spoke to supporters in Florida, President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden landed in Maui to see firsthand the extent of the destruction caused by the out-of-control wildfires.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a pre-debate party in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on Monday where he delivered his stump speech to a very friendly crowd of supporters before heading to Milwaukee, Wis. for the first GOP debate of the cycle.
DeSantis slammed Biden for going to Lake Tahoe for a vacation weekend before visiting victims and surveying damage from the Maui fires. Pictured: President Joe Biden receives a Hawaiian lei during a community engagement event on Monday
But before heading to the lone island state, Biden stopped for a vacation in Lake Tahoe over the weekend, staying with billionaire Tom Steyer in the upscale community of Glenbrook from Friday night to Monday morning.
The first couple rented the house at its “fair market value”, according to the White House. Steyer was one of many Democrats who ran in the 2020 presidential primary and ultimately dropped out.
Maui’s death toll rose to 114 over the weekend and more than 1,000 residents are still missing.
Biden has come under intense criticism for his lack of response to the Maui wildfires, with Republicans denouncing him for giving more attention and aid to foreign issues, like the war in Ukraine, than to issues nationals.
Desantis was at home on Monday, speaking at The Gulf, a multi-purpose venue on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., described on the website as a “bayside hangout for seafood. sea and cocktails”.
Begging area residents were excited for their beloved governor to host the event ahead of his first GOP primary debate in his home state.
Hundreds of people sat under umbrellas, watching from balconies and standing on grassy lawns, almost all wearing a DeSantis 2024 sticker, wearing his shirts or hats were usually patriotic, red, white and blue attire.
DeSantis and seven other Republican presidential candidates are struggling to prepare for the first GOP debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday. Former President Donald Trump easily qualified for the debate, but will not participate.
If he wins the nomination, DeSantis vowed he would lead Biden across the country so he can’t “hide in the basement” like during his mostly virtual 2020 campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Here’s the thing, I’m not going to give Biden rest,” DeSantis told several hundred supporters gathered to hear him speak at a venue overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay. “We’re going to race it all over the country, we’re not going to stop. We’re going to show energy, we’re going to show vigour.
He added, “We’re going to show a big contrast to the American people between someone who shouldn’t be in power anymore and someone who’s going to spit on day one and do the work for you.”
Biden flew to Lake Tahoe on Friday to stay at the home of Democratic billionaire Tom Steyer in the upscale community of Glenbrook where the first couple paid ‘market value’ for their vacation, the White House says
Trump supporters lined up outside the DeSantis debate send-off event in Fort Walton Beach on Monday to counter-protest his appearance
DeSantis was visibly more relaxed in Florida as he spoke to a crowd familiar with his accomplishments.
He has vowed to lead Biden across the country in 2024 in contrast to his 2020 campaign from his basement studio setup.
“So here’s what we need to make sure of in 2024 — I’m not going to let him sit in his basement and get away with it again, we’re going to race him in this country,” DeSantis said.
“We will hold him accountable for his failures. We are going to show the American people that there is a better way. And we know there is a better way.
Afterwards, the Governor travels to Milwaukee to participate in a debate where he expects to take most of the heat as the highest ranking candidate on stage.