MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” panel had a freakout Friday morning about Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to suspend a prosecutor who pledged not to enforce a number of state laws.
DeSantis suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren on Thursday after Warren refused to enforce several laws, including laws prohibiting sex change surgery for minors and Florida’s 15-week ban on abortion.
Co-host Joe Scarborough lambasted DeSantis for the move, claiming it was a “strongman tactic.”
“For those of you that don’t know, the people elect them. Why did he suspend this guy? Because of what he was thinking,” Scarborough said. “Because of what he said. Not because of any actions he took,” Scarborough said.
“For even thinking something and expressing those thoughts. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, suspended an elected official, a state attorney from another party. It is – it’s really – the strongman trend in the Republican Party is so frightening.”
National affairs analyst John Heilemann equated the move to a Soviet-style tactic, mentioning how DeSantis revoked Disney’s special privileges.
“[This is] the kind of thing … you would have seen in the Eastern bloc before the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
Scarborough, referring to DeSantis’ decision to block taxpayer dollars toward a training facility for the Tampa Bay Rays after the team spoke out against gun violence, said Republicans, in general, are making bad career moves.
“Two things can be true at the same time,” Scarborough said. “You can be attacked by rational people in the media. And at the same time, you can do something that’s very bad for the state of Florida, very bad for American democracy and, ultimately, hold on, wait for it, ’cause you guys aren’t getting it, I keep warning you Republicans, let me tell you as well, it can be bad for American democracy and bad for your own future political careers.”
Scarborough then went on to accuse DeSantis of putting “the lives of 10-year-old girls who have been raped at risk.”
“He didn’t even wait for any action to take place. And he’s doing the same thing that these freaks and insurrectionists and weirdos are doing, that are putting the lives of 10-year-old girls who have been raped at risk. Who are saying that uncles that raped 14-year-old girls, that’s a perfect example of why they have to force the 14-year-old to have the baby.”
Warren, in deciding not to enforce the abortion ban, said the ban was “unconstitutional.”
“The Legislature is hoping courts ignore the Florida constitution. But I’m upholding the law and protecting the fundamental rights of all Floridians,” Warren said of the law.
DeSantis said “Warren demonstrated his incompetence and willful defiance of his duties as a state attorney as early as June 2021, when he signed a ‘Joint Statement’ with other elected prosecutors in support of gender-transition treatment for children ad bathroom usage based on gender identity.” (RELATED: ‘They Wanna Castrate These Young Boys’: DeSantis Says Doctors Should Be Sued For Child Sex Change Surgeries)
Florida governors have the authority to suspend state officers for, among other things, neglect of duty, under Article IV, Section 7 of the Florida State Constitution.