TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday condemned the commemoration of the violent Jan. 6 Capitol riots as a way for Democrats and the information media to “smear” supporters of former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis, a former member of Congress earlier than he was elected governor in 2018, mentioned that he had no plans to concentrate to what he known as a “politicized Charlie Foxtrot” occasion and predicted the protection can be “nauseating.”
DeSantis, an ally of the previous president who has refused to reply questions on whether or not he helps Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was rigged, downplayed the Jan. 6 riot on the capitol that resulted in 5 deaths and left greater than 100 legislation enforcement officers wounded. The riot has splintered each events, with Democrats decrying the lethal assault on the halls of Congress and a few Republicans characterizing it as a principally peaceable protest.
“It’s not one thing that I’ve been involved about in my job right here, as a result of frankly it’s not one thing that almost all Floridians have been involved about,” DeSantis mentioned throughout a morning press convention he held in West Palm Seashore to focus on Covid-19 testing.
He added that the Jan. 6 anniversary of the occasion the place Trump supporters staged a lethal assault on the Capitol was like “Christmas” for information retailers in Washington and New York Metropolis. He contended that the media solely spent one or two days reporting on the 2017 taking pictures the place Republicans had been focused by a person who supported left-wing causes whereas training for an upcoming charity baseball sport. A number of individuals had been shot, together with Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was severely injured. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was shot and killed by police.
“Jan. 6 permits them to create narratives which might be unfavorable about folks that supported Donald Trump,” mentioned DeSantis, who additionally rejected labeling the riots as an “riot” as a result of nobody has been charged with any crimes that match that definition.
DeSantis’ feedback within the instant aftermath of the riots had been a lot stronger as he and GOP legislative leaders used the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol as a part of the rationale for pushing for his “anti-riot” laws.
“It was completely unacceptable and people people want to be held accountable,” DeSantis on Jan. 7, 2021, throughout a press convention. “And it doesn’t matter what banner you’re flying below, the violence is unsuitable, the rioting and the dysfunction is unsuitable. We’re not going to tolerate it in Florida.”
In his Thursday remarks, DeSantis mentioned those that entered the Capitol must be held “accountable,” however he criticized those that in contrast the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults to the Jan. 6 riots, saying it was “an insult to the individuals going into these buildings.”
DeSantis made his feedback shortly earlier than President Joe Biden sharply rebuked the violence that occurred and mentioned that Trump bears “singular accountability” for the assaults. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat difficult DeSantis in 2022, mentioned the governor’s feedback on Jan. 6 had been causes “why the governor of Florida shouldn’t be the governor of Florida anymore.”
DeSantis got here into workplace in 2018 with the backing of Trump, whose endorsement of him within the GOP main was seen as a pivotal second in his political ascent. DeSantis has since emerged as a possible 2024 presidential contender if Trump finally forgoes working once more. The governor has been a persistent critic of Biden over immigration and Covid-19 and has pushed for the state to interact in a number of ongoing authorized battles with the Biden administration.
Different Florida Republicans who might also run for president in 2024 — such as Sen. Marco Rubio — additionally criticized the continued commemoration of the Jan. 6 occasion, albeit in a considerably completely different way.
Rubio (*6*) during which he “condemned” political violence and mentioned that the Jan. 6 riots couldn’t be “justified.” However he additionally contended that Democrats had downplayed different forms of violence, citing protests and riots that broke out following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Rubio mentioned that the speeches and remarks on Jan. 6 had been “about selling a political narrative” that “all Republicans are insurrectionists, all Republicans are a risk to democracy.”
Within the 12 months because the Jan. 6 riots, dozens of Floridians have been charged for his or her roles within the occasion. The Palm Seashore Publish famous that to this point 70 individuals from Florida have been arrested — which is greater than another state.
Florida resident Robert Palmer has gotten the stiffest sentence handed down in reference to the riots. Final month, a choose gave Palmer a 63-month jail time period final month after admitting to assaulting police by swinging a pole at them as nicely as throwing a plank and a fireplace extinguisher of their route.