The gloves have come off between Governor Ron DeSantis and State Rep. Randy Fine (R) as both men respond to the political jabs each man has thrown against the other.
The jousting between Rep. Fine and Gov. DeSantis appears to stem from the Governor’s engagement or lack of engagement in Rep. Fine’s candidacy to become President at Florida Atlantic University.
Rep. Fine, who is arguably the loudest voice of support for Israel and the Jewish community in Florida, recently flipped his presidential endorsement from Gov. DeSantis to former President Donald Trump, has questioned Gov. DeSantis's reaction to the rise in Neo-Nazism in Florida.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Gov. DeSantis was asked about Fine’s criticisms, and responded by addressing Fine as “this guy” who is only looking for “his fifteen minutes of fame.”
“He’s just trying to get his fifteen minutes of fame. This guy was singing my praises a couple of months ago, he’s got his different reasons why he is doing that,” said DeSantis, adding that he was the only governor in the name to “Scrambled planes to Israel” to bring back Americans stranded there.
DeSantis's obvious dressing down of Fine by not referring to him as “this guy” or by his name or title, is very telling.
“He’s just trying to create a name for. himself. It's all nonsense. Everyone knows it is nonsense. Don’t give someone fifteen minutes of fame just because they are letting you to do a preferred narrative just to hit me. Its nonsense,” added DeSantis.
DeSantis also dismissed the narrative that he was slow to condemn Neo-Nazis when both Florida Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio
Asked why he didn’t speak out against Neo Nazi’s when Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott beat him to it, DeSantis reiterated that he had made the condemnation.
Even though Florida Democrats at the time accused him of not openly denouncing Nazism DeSantis did make some poignant remarks against the Neo-Nazis at the time, but did not condemn them, instead according to Fine, called the rise of Nazis in the state “fake.”
DeSantis on one occasion referred to Nazis as "jackasses."
"But I'm not going to have people trying to smear me that belong to a political party that has elevated anti-semites to the halls of Congress, like Ilhan Omar. Those have played footsies with the BDS movement,” said Gov. DeSantis.
In response to DeSantis remarks, Fine tweeted out his disappointment, and question why the governor has not acted on the antisemitism bills he signed into law, adding that DeSantis “should protect Jewish children and families.”
“I am disappointed with the Governor’s flippant response to the fears of thousands of Florida’s Jewish parents. I am even more disappointed that the Governor continues to call the rise of Nazis in Florida “fake.” Governor DeSantis didn’t mind the fame of signing my bills to tackle antisemitism, in Israel no less; I am not interested in fame for pointing out his failure to use them. Instead of talking about me, he should protect Jewish children and families. I will fight for that for far more than 15 minutes,” stated Fine.