Florida's Ron DeSantis Doubles Down on 'Monkey This Up' Comment

by Garry Watts August 31, 2018, 1:31
Florida's Ron DeSantis Doubles Down on 'Monkey This Up' Comment

Pre-primary polls indicated that Graham had the best shot at defeating the Trump-endorsed Republican nominee Ron Desantis, but a recent survey conducted by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling, conducted immediately following the primary vote on August 29-30, indicates that Gillum now has a large lead over DeSantis if the election was to take place today. DeSantis came from behind in the GOP primary with the help of Trump to beat Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who campaigned longer, raised more money and built party establishment support.

"We need to silence the dog whistle, and don't say we don't hear it, because many of us have heard it so many times before", Willis said.

"That is not what Floridians want", DeSantis declared. "We're going to try to compel and appeal to the higher values of the people of the state of Florida". The president criticized Gillum on Twitter, calling him a socialist mayor "who has allowed crime & many other problems to flourish in his city".

Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, said the characterization of racism is "absurd".

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DeSantis, who turns 40 next month, is a former Navy lawyer who won his seat in 2012 running as a Washington outsider. Schultz Zeckman noted that while Democrats increased their primary turnout in comparison to the 2014 midterms, so did Republicans; the memo also cites Republicans garnering more new voter registrations in Florida since 2016 than Democrats. Marco Rubio shut down his presidential campaign and ran for re-election.

The third-place candidate in the five-person race, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, won five counties - Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades and Lee. Billionaire Jeff Greene spent about $38 million of his own money.

"It's sort of the like the Florida guy versus the Fox guy, and we're going to see if that's sufficient anymore", Tallahassee-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson told the Chicago Tribune. He's a gifted public speaker who did well in debates, often receiving the most applause, but the FBI is investigating Tallahassee city hall for alleged corruption. Gillum has said he's not a target.

"Governor of Florida?" O'Brien asked. And it's a contrast to the staid, centrist Nelson and Gwen Graham, Gillum's top primary rival.

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