President Biden said he would meet with the governor while touring hurricane damage in Florida, but Ron DeSantis backed out.
The governor’s office, in a statement, said the visit will disrupt recovery efforts.
“We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,” said Jeremy Redfern, DeSantis’ spokesperson, in a statement. “In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”
A White House official, who was granted anonymity to speak freely about the trip, said Biden informed DeSantis Thursday, and the governor “did not express concerns at that time.
Ron DeSantis backed out of the meeting with the President because he is petty and placing politics ahead of what is best for the people of his state. DeSantis and his presidential campaign seem to believe that appearing with President Biden would hurt him in the Republican presidential primary.
Given that DeSantis’s polling numbers have been floating face down in the political waters for months, it might be time to let go of the dream of being the Republican presidential nominee and consider doing his job for the people of Florida. President Biden can tour the hurricane damage with or without the governor, but voters that DeSantis is missing an opportunity to court the voters he needs by sticking to his losing hyperpartisan strategy of running for president in Trump’s shadow.