Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is hitting back at an Associated Press reporter this Thursday over a bizarre question about why he didn't take any questions from the crowd at a campaign stop in Laconia, New Hampshire.
The 2024 Republican presidential hopeful began the event alongside his wife Casey with a scripted remark, hitting on topics like the 'war on woke' and 'sending Joe Biden to his basement'. He then met members of the 250-plus people audience during photo opportunities and mingle time.
AP reporter Steve Peoples then approached him and asked, “Why are you not taking any questions from voters, Governor?”
DeSantis replied, “People are coming up to me, talking to me. What are you talking about? Are you blind? Are you blind? People are coming up to me, talking to me whatever they want to talk to me about.”
“I’m not blind,” Peoples responded.
DeSantis had mostly been chatting to voters but had yet to take a question from the crowd. Following the tense exchange, his security detail ushered him away from the press.
Vikram Mansharamani, an entrepreneur and former Republican Senate candidate, said he was “disappointed” with the exchange.
“I did not want a monologue; I wanted to see how he interacted with the audience,” the 49-year-old told NBC News.
The Governor’s press secretary Bryan Griffin had a few choice words of critique for the media.
“This AP reporter asked this question while [he] was surrounded by voters in New Hampshire asking him questions and taking pictures,” Griffin tweeted. “Perfectly illustrative of the modern media shutting their eyes and ears to the truth to push their narrative.”
DeSantis’ speech contained mostly lines from previous campaign stops, but he gained a huge round of applause when he raised banning gender transition surgery for minors. He also criticized the GOP for their string of election defeats and failed endorsements.
“But here’s the thing, you can’t do any of this. If you don’t win, there is no substitute for victory,” he said. “And we’ve got to end this culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years. You know, we should have 55 Republican senators right now. And we not flubbed so many races over the last four or six years. ….. We’ve got to get it done and the stakes are high."
The former President of the United States, Donald Trump, jokingly took a jab at DeSantis on his new platform “Truth Social” about the Governor’s name pronunciation recently. He also made fun of his weight.
The remarks come as former Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to announce his entry to the race within days.
No matter the back-and-forth between the presidential hopefuls, retiring business owner Scott Nelson, 75, said the Governor’s speech was “terrific”, though it’s “too early to make any decision” on how to vote.
this is how they set up the lie
DeSantis is literally taking questions form voters, they ask "why arent you taking questions from voters"
then they can report the question creating a false impression DeSantis didnt take questions
The corporate press is evil https://t.co/t6fsrwVljo
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) June 1, 2023