HBO comedian John Oliver melted down about Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a 25-minute rant during Sunday night’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”
Oliver lamented DeSantis’ legislative record related to preventing biological male athletes from competing with women, passing a 15-week abortion ban and restricting books in school that allegedly contain elements of critical race theory (CRT). He warned that the governor cannot set the standard in the 2024 Republican primary when he expectedly runs against former President Donald Trump.
“When you take all of this together, the books being removed, the inane proclamations to shame trans athletes, the sloppy attempts to criminalize protesters and you combine it with everything else from the support for restrictive abortion bans, to the efforts to stop gender affirming care, it really begins to feel like the freest state in America is only free to the extent that anyone wants to behave exactly the way that Ron DeSantis thinks they should,” Oliver said.
Oliver said DeSantis’ actions to ban transgender procedures for minors and abortion after 15 weeks are “terrible,” and criticized him for battling the ongoing culture wars of the U.S. He also attacked the governor for targeting “wokeness” and far-left policies.
He also lamented the governor passing a proclamation to recognize swimmer Emma Weyant, who competed against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, in the 500-yard freestyle race in March 2022. Weyant won the silver medal after coming in second to Thomas, a biological male, in the NCAA race.
“Aside from being fucking gross and awful, to be very clear, DeSantis doesn’t have the power to declare or disqualify winners in college sports, rendering that proclamation completely pointless,” Oliver said.
Oliver attempted to mock the governor’s 2022 advertisement attacking the corporate media. He pointed to a 2021 press conference where the governor shut down a CNN reporter asking about the state’s vaccine rollout, and accused DeSantis of being the only one causing conflict. (RELATED: ‘Vote Your Ass Out Of There’: ‘The View’ Co-Hosts Rant About DeSantis Defunding DEI From Florida Universities)
“DeSantis is constantly complaining the media is taking him out of context, although it is worth noting that in that ad, he’s removing some pretty important context from the media,” he said.
He then mocked DeSantis for repeatedly appearing on Fox News, a total of 113 times.
Oliver then turned to education, where DeSantis passed the “Stop W.O.K.E Act” to prevent the teaching of CRT. CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The legislation led to the rejection of 41% of math textbooks for reportedly including “indoctrinating concepts.” One textbook showed students a bar graph that measures racial prejudice by political identification, and alleged that conservatives are more racist than liberals.
Oliver claimed that none of the books banned by the Florida Department of Education contained any inappropriate content.
Oliver mocked Trump’s most recent alleged nickname for the governor, “Meatball Ron,” as a “perfectly stupid” name. He then criticized some critics for saying DeSantis is “Trump with a brain,” relating the comparison to a restaurant being better than a dropped chicken pot pie.
He then mentioned several rumors pertaining to the governor, including one in which he would allegedly leave a date if a woman corrected his pronunciation of “Thai food.” Oliver then shared an accusation that he kept his earbuds in when he was member of Congress to ignore people and only hear his own voice.