Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried held a gubernatorial campaign Twitter “Live” event Monday night where she took issue with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s recent refusal to send the Florida National Guard to Washington, D.C. for the State of the Union Address.
The White House formally requested the assistance of state national guards forces ahead of the annual presidential address.
“There will be no Florida National Guard sent to D.C. for Biden's State of the Union,” stated Gov. DeSantis.
Commissioner Fried said she was “disgusted” with Gov. DeSantis’s refusal to send troops to Washington, adding that Gov. DeSantis was “willing to spend $1.6 million to send our law enforcement to the southern border, but when the President of the United States is asking for National Guard's members to come up to DC to protect the president to protect our capitol to protect our members of Congress, and he says no.”
Fried called DeSantis’s refusal “unpatriotic” accusing the Republican governor of being “unwilling to protect our democracy and unwilling to protect our president.”
“I'm so disgusted. You know, we was willing to spend $1.6 million to send our law enforcement to the southern border. But when the President of the United States is asking for National Guard's members to come up to DC to protect the president to protect our capitol to protect our members of Congress, and he says no. I mean, how unpatriotic is that? You know, when your president calls you to answer, I don't care if you're a Democrat. I don't care if you're Republican, but we are supposed to be the United States of America, and he is unwilling to protect our democracy and unwilling to protect our president. Shame on dissenters,” said Commissioner Fried.
One Florida State Legislator who asked that we conceal her or his identity, questioned what kind of threat did the president face that required the assistance of national guard units.
“What protection does President Biden and the U.S. Congress need for the State of the Union address that Capitol Police and Secret Service are not able to provide,” asked the source.
In addition, the lawmaker questioned if DeSantis’s effort to help secure the southern border from “an invasion of illegal immigrants, drug cartels, and deadly Fentanyl” was a clear effort to “protect our democracy.”
Gov. DeSantis's office responded to The Floridian’s request for comment over Fried’s condemnation of DeSantis’s refusal to send national guard troops to Washington.
“Last week, the federal government requested all states send National Guard personnel to DC to prepare for anticipated “First Amendment protests.” The National Guard should never be misused for political purposes,” stated DeSantis’s Press Secretary Christina Pushaw. Last year, when the National Guard deployed to DC around the inauguration, they were forced to sleep in freezing parking lots, all for a regime spectacle. Our dedicated, patriotic service members deserve better.”
According to the District of Columbia National Guard website, there are currently 2,700 national guard "soldiers and airmen" available for deployment to the Capitol, if needed.