Here’s how you know Donald Trump is afraid of Ron DeSantis. | Andrew Harnik/AP photo Florida GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis
MIAMI — Ron DeSantis is the Florida Republican gubernatorial nominee. He will be sworn in on Jan. 7, 2019, as the sixth governor in the state’s history.
But as his nomination race has unfolded, he has had to endure some of the wackiest political gaffes in the nation. He was caught red-handed — and then blamed. He was accused of being involved in a scandal involving the now-discredited “birther” movement. He had to endure two primary challenges — one from former congressman Ron DeSantis and one from Jeb Bush’s brother — in just four months.
He was accused of being involved in a scandal involving the now-discredited “birther” movement. He had to endure two primary challenges — one from former congressman Ron DeSantis and one from Jeb Bush’s brother — in just four months.
And his opponents have repeatedly accused the Tallahassee businessman of hypocrisy.
We’ve collected all the above-mentioned allegations, many of which were made in recent weeks and months but were not documented by DeSantis’ campaign, and we will run through them today in chronological order.
(This story was updated April 10 after an interview I had last week with DeSantis’ spokesman that appears to have made waves with the national media.)
Trump’s “birther” controversy
Ron DeSantis (R), Florida’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, stands next to Florida attorney general Pam Bondi (R) Friday, Nov. 1, 2018, at an anti-abortion rally in Melbourne, Fla. (Michael Owen Baker/New Times via AP)
After President Barack Obama was sworn in in 2009, DeSantis — then a 29-year-old state representative from Fort Myers — decided to investigate what he called the “birther” movement, which suggested that the president was not a United States citizen, and was ineligible to serve as president. DeSantis wanted to prove Obama was born in the United States.
He got his proof and a whole lot more as news of the president’s citizenship spread in the media.
The press, DeSantis said, “had it out for him because he’s a black man.” More specifically, they were after