A couple of weeks ago disaster struck Hawaii with a massive wildfire that destroyed the historic seaside community of Lahaina. At that time President Biden was on a weekend getaway with his family at Lake Tahoe. That didn’t stop Ron DeSantis from trying to score political points with the Republican base during the heated primary season.
'”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 engage to help the victims, but to go sit on the beach, what would the media say if they tried to do that?' DeSantis said.
It did not matter that Biden was actually visiting Maui and touring the site at that exact moment DeSantis commented. He wanted to prove that during a disaster, as president he would do better.
Fast forward a couple weeks and DeSantis is facing a disaster of his own with a historic hurricane barreling through his own state of Florida. President Biden has offered full support of the federal government for Florida, much like he did for Hawaii. But did DeSantis clamor to have Biden visit his home state?
DeSantis had his spokesperson claim a presidential visit would be too disruptive.
“The security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts,” said a spokesperson for the governor.
So to be clear, when it didn’t impact DeSantis he was perfectly fine attacking the president for not immediately visiting a disaster site… but when it comes to his own state facing a problem now he is concerned with security precautions bogging down recovery efforts.
DeSantis was surely putting politics first since on the stage of the first Republican debate political neophyte Vivek Ramaswamy attacked fellow candidate Chris Christie for greeting then-President Obama after the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. At the time, being seen with the president, even during a disaster, was political fodder for Republicans and apparently it still is.