Talk about awkward, Biden to meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis while touring hurricane destruction

Partisanship is expected to be temporarily set aside this coming week as President Joe Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) are once again brought together in the face of disaster.

With the midterms mere weeks away, the natural impulse among politicians has been to steer everything toward scoring a victory over the opposition ahead of polls opening. Undoubtedly all eyes will be on Florida Wednesday since the White House announced Biden will be visiting the state to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Ian following a trip Monday to Puerto Rico, likewise to witness how Hurricane Fiona had ravaged the island.

Though the leaders have sparred publicly over Democrats push toward furthering the progressive agenda, each has remained relatively neutral regarding the hurricane and the president recently stated to reporters that those matters were being tabled to address the natural disaster, “This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically. This is about saving people’s lives, homes, and businesses.”

Biden had also suggested that the rapport between himself and DeSantis had been both professional and respectful and their relationship was, “In fact, very fine. He complimented me. He thanked me for the immediate response we had. He told me how much he appreciated it. He said he was extremely happy with what’s going on.”

The governor had supported those statements from the president when he told reporters Wednesday, “When we spoke yesterday, he said, ‘All hands on deck,’ that he wants to be helpful. And he said, ‘Ask whatever you need, ask us,’ you know, so he was inviting us to request support.”

Previously, the two leaders had come together in the wake of the condominium collapse in Surfside, FL that had taken the lives of 98 and at the time, Biden had remarked sitting beside DeSantis, “You know what’s good about this? It lets the nation know we can cooperate…when it’s really important.”

The president also remarked to the governor, “This is your show. We just want to make sure [you have] whatever you need.”

For his part, DeSantis lauded the government for removing barriers to streamline a response at the time. “You guys have not only been supportive at the federal level, but we’ve had not bureaucracy. When we’re dealing with FEMA, we’re literally getting requests routed from local to state to federal in no time and the approval is happening.”

Recently, the governor did so again when he complemented FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and the cooperation from the federal government to aid Floridians devastated by Ian. “She’s been very supportive. We, by and large, worked will with them.”

“You know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything,” DeSantis reminded recently, “if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to.”

The last reported count found that 77 lives had been lost as a result of Ian and hundreds of thousands remained without power in Florida.


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