DeSantis defends fiery response to audience member: 'I'm not gonna let anyone impugn me'


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) spoke Friday about the testy exchange he had with an audience member at a press conference the previous day, claiming his arguments were “outrageous.”

“It’s just outrageous to take an incident that’s really been a gut punch to our state as well as to the Jacksonville community and to try to leverage that as a political cudgel to use against somebody that you disagree with politically,” DeSantis argued in an interview on Fox News.

“I am not going to sit there and stand for that,” he said. I will not allow anyone to impugn my character in this way.

“You have allowed weapons to fill the street into immature, hateful people who caused the deaths of the people who were murdered a few weeks ago,” he said. “It shows that our society is broken when people are willing to stoop that low,” said the governor. “We can have disagreements on issues, we can even be heated on issues, but to take some nutjob and to try to act like we were a part of that is absolutely absurd.”

DeSantis has condemned the Jacksonville gunman for what authorities described as a “racially motivated” shooting.

“This shooting, based on the manifesto they discovered from the scumbag that did this, was racially motivated,” the governor said in a video message after the incident. “He targeted people based upon their race.” That is totally unacceptable.”

But DeSantis’s exchange with the audience member was not the first time he faced criticism following the attack. Despite his words, the governor was met with boos while he attended a vigil for the victims of the shooting, with one in the crowd yelling, “He don’t care.”

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