Ron DeSantis Takes Heat For Warning Florida Voters Not To ‘Monkey This Up’

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Just hours after clinching the Republican nomination in the Florida governor race, Rep. Ron DeSantis is facing serious backlash for a comment he made on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday.

DeSantis warned voters against voting for his opponent Andrew Gillum — who happens to be black — by saying, “The last thing we need to do is monkey this up.”

DeSantis explained that Gillum, the Bernie-Sanders-backed former mayor of Tallahassee, leaned too far toward socialism for the red state of Florida, which President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016. Gillum’s platform includes a $15 minimum wage and Medicare for all.

DeSantis appeared to be referencing the economy when he made the now-viral comment: “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” he said. “That’s not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.”

The economy and Gillum’s more socialist views have often been a theme for DeSantis, who told Laura Ingraham Tuesday night, “I’m trying to make Florida even better. He’s trying to make Florida Venezuela.”

But because Gillum is black, DeSantis’ comments were immediately interpreted as openly and intentionally racist:

To make matters worse, “monkey this up” isn’t even a commonly used expression.

However, a DeSantis spokesperson says that he uses the phrase frequently, and there was no racial meaning implied.

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