Biden Tries To Change Narrative After His DeSantis Snub Backfires

News & Politics

Although President Biden had called several Florida mayors before Hurricane Ian made landfall, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida did not get a call. It raised many questions and criticism. Why did Biden snub DeSantis? Is it because DeSantis has been highly critical of Joe Biden? Is it because DeSantis is a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate? Was the White House trying to distance itself from Florida’s hurricane response so that, if things turned out really bad, they could pin the blame on DeSantis? Whatever the reason was, it didn’t make Biden look any better, and during a press conference on Tuesday, DeSantis commented on his lack of personal contact from the White House, saying that he had received the help he needed from FEMA but hadn’t yet heard from Joe Biden.

“You know, I’m happy to brief the president if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida, you know, my view on all this is like you got people’s lives at stake, you got their property at stake, and we don’t have time for pettiness. We got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them.”

Hours later, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that Biden had called DeSantis, a clear indication that the White House had gotten the message that Biden needed to put aside their political differences and act like a leader. It’s a good thing the White House realized that they weren’t going to help themselves by snubbing DeSantis, but what’s really remarkable is the way Biden is now trying to flip the script and assume the role of the bipartisan leader.

Related: Are Democrats Rooting for Massive Loss of Life in Florida?

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On Thursday, Biden announced that he plans to visit Florida when he can and that his political disagreements with DeSantis are irrelevant during the response efforts to Hurricane Ian.

“It’s totally irrelevant, but I’ll answer it,” he said in response to a question about his relationship with DeSantis during remarks he made at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters. “He complimented me, he thanked me for the immediate response we had, he told me how much he appreciated it.”

“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses. That’s what this is about,” Biden added. This curiously sounded a lot like DeSantis’s earlier statement in which he said this wasn’t a time for pettiness.

Governor Ron DeSantis aced a significant test of leadership, whereas Joe Biden utterly failed. Rather than do the right thing, Biden attempted to give the impression that he was engaged by calling a number of Florida mayors, thinking that would be enough to avoid speaking with DeSantis. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden often portrayed himself as someone who puts partisanship aside for the sake of the greater good. However, that in no way reflected his true self. It is abundantly clear from this incident that DeSantis possesses a higher level of presidential leadership than Joe Biden does—if Biden possesses any at all.

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