OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are about to meet face to face, and many would think that would start fireworks, but they would be incorrect.
The two politicians who are opposed on near every policy issue have had kind things to say about one another in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Ian, showing that people can push politics to the side in a time of crisis.
The president was asked about his coming meeting with DeSantis and how his relationship was with the governor.
“In fact, very fine. He complimented me,” the president said. “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.”
“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically. This is about saving people’s lives, homes, and businesses,” he said.
The Florida governor has also refrained from attacks when he spoke to Fox News host Tucker Carlson last week.
“Given how politicized things are at the moment, are you confident you’re gonna get the federal support Florida needs?” the host said.
“So, I actually spoke with the President, and he said he wants to be helpful,” the governor said. “So, we did submit a request for reimbursement for the next 60 days at 100 percent. That’s significant support, but it’s a significant storm.”
“I’m actually cautiously optimistic that we do. As you say, Tucker, we live in a very politicized time,” he said.
“But you know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything, if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to,” he said.
“So I’ll work with anybody who wants to help the people of Southwest Florida and throughout our state,” he said.
The president said that he had spoken to the governor many times and they are working together.
“I made it clear to the governor and the mayors that the federal government is ready to help in every single way possible,” he said. “We’ll be there every step of the way.”
Prior to the storm making landfall the Florida governor spoke to Fox News host Sean Hannity and was complimentary of the president, noting a conversation they had.
“What I said today is my phone line is open when people’s lives and their property are at risk like this,” the governor said.
“We all need to work together regardless of party lines. The Biden administration has approved our request for a pre-landfall declaration and did that very quickly. So we’re thankful for that,” he said.
“And it’s my sense that the administration wants to help. I think they realize that this is a really significant storm,” he said. “We’re working with the locals. We work very well with them. Of course, the state level, but we really need everyone working together to make sure people have their needs tended to.”
On Sunday the death toll from Hurricane Ian reached 67, CNN reported.
At least 67 people were killed by Ian in Florida as it swallowed homes in its furious rushing waters, obliterated roadways and ripped down powerlines. Four people were also killed in storm-related incidents in North Carolina, officials say.
Nearly 900,000 customers in Florida still did not have power as of early Sunday morning, according to PowerOutage.us. More than 30,000 remained without power in North Carolina.
The hurricane – expected to be ranked the most expensive storm in Florida’s history – made landfall Wednesday as a powerful Category 4 and had weakened to a post-tropical cyclone by Saturday, dropping rain over parts of West Virginia and western Maryland.