President Joe Biden praised Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida on Wednesday as he surveyed the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
The pair shook hands and delivered joint remarks on Florida’s response to the deadly Category Four hurricane, thanking each other for the coordination between the White House and the governor’s office.
President Biden and Florida Governor DeSantis pic.twitter.com/igXigXXS3Y
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“I wanna thank President Biden, Joe Biden, as well as administrator Deanne Chriswell for coming down here,” DeSantis said.
“We were very fortunate to have good coordination with the White House and with FEMA from the very beginning of this, we declared a state of emergency last Friday Sep. 23 … we really appreciated that and that basically set off the massive mobilization that we had ready to be able to respond to the storm,” the governor added.
Biden responded in kind, thanking DeSantis for his “hospitality,” and saying that what the governor has “done is pretty remarkable.”
“I think he’s done a good job,” Biden continued, despite the two having “different political philosophies.”
“The meeting took place in Lee County, the site of the 55 of the 109 reported deaths from the hurricane. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still 283,088 power outages in Florida, according to PowerOutage.us.
There face-to-face visit marked the first time Biden and DeSantis have seen each other since the Florida governor flew illegal migrants to Martha’s Vineyard. (RELATED: Biden Admin Repeats Hurricane Ian ‘Not Political’ As Harris Pitches Race-Based Hurricane Relief)
Biden called the Martha’s Vineyard incident “simply wrong” and “un-American” at the time.
The president mentioned climate change in the Florida meeting, claiming Hurricane Ian “has finally ended the discussion on whether or not there’s climate change and we should do something about it.”
“The biggest thing the governor’s done and so many others have done, they’ve recognized there’s this thing called global warming,” Biden said.
While in Florida, Biden and first lady Jill Biden surveyed the damage, received an operational briefing on ongoing recovery efforts, and thanked federal, state, and local officials who are providing “lifesaving assistance and supporting recovery,” FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell announced.
DeSantis added that “there have been over 2,500 rescues effectuated” and “close to a 100,000 structures in the most-affected areas that have been searched.”