‘That Is Nonsense’: DeSantis Blasts Reporter Over Question During Hurricane Presser


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday held a press conference to discuss Hurricane Ian, a monster hurricane that is currently bearing down on the state’s west coast.

But the Republican leader was in no mood for games from the media and made that quite clear in response to a question from a reporter whom DeSantis believed was simply trying to score political points for the left.

The query came after the White House appeared to dodge questions earlier about why President Joe Biden found the time to call several mayors in the state but not the GOP governor, The Daily Wire noted.

“FEMA Administrator [Deanne] Criswell said today that she acknowledged concerns that Florida [inaudible] lacks response to the storm so far and that–” the reporter began before DeSantis interjected.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Give me a break,” DeSantis fired back. “That is nonsense. Stop politicizing, okay? Stop it. We declared a state of emergency when this thing wasn’t even formed.

“We’ve had people in here, you’ve had counties doing, they’ve done a lot of hard work and honestly, you’re trying to attack me, I get, but like you’re attacking these other people who’ve worked very hard,” he continued. “And so that’s just totally false.

“I don’t think we’ve ever, certainly since I’ve been governor, declared a state emergency this early. We made sure that we were very inclusive with it. We said that there was a lot of uncertainty and then we’ve worked to make sure the preparations that have been done and all the stuff, you talk to the people at the counties, when they’ve needed something, stuff gets there very quickly because of what Kevin and his team have done,” he said, referencing Kevin Guthrie, the current director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.


“The media can’t help themselves – everything must be politicized. No opportunity to smear opponents is too low. This reporter misrepresented FEMA Director’s words,” the DeSantis War Room tweeted along with a video of the exchange.

As for Ian, the massive storm was approaching Category 5 status as of Wednesday morning, according to Fox Weather, which added that only four storms stronger than this one have made landfall in the U.S.:

Labor Day (1935): 185 mph

Camille (1969): 175 mph

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Andrew (1992): 165 mph

Michael (2018): 160 mph

While tens of thousands of Floridians have already evacuated ahead of the storm, DeSantis said early Wednesday that it was no longer possible to safely do so, advising residents to “hunker down” and prepare for Ian’s arrival.

Fox Weather also posted some “fast facts” about the hurricane:

Ian is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane along the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday.


Life-threatening storm surge is occurring along parts of the Florida coastline.

Devastating wind damage is expected within Hurricane Ian’s warning areas, especially near the core of Ian.

Catastrophic flooding is expected as heavy rainfall will spread across the Florida peninsula through Thursday.

There’s a heightened tornado threat south of Interstate 4.

As for DeSantis, he knocked Biden for not reaching out sooner, though he had time to phone Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Mayor Ken Welch of St. Petersburg, and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater.

A reporter asked the GOP governor how he would describe his discussions with Biden as Ian bore down on the Florida peninsula.

“So I have not personally spoken with the president, but FEMA has approved our pre-landfall request,” DeSantis said.

“We feel like we have a good relationship with FEMA,” he continued. “You know, I’m happy to brief the president if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida, you know, my view on all this is like you got people’s lives at stake, you got their property at stake, and we don’t have time for pettiness. We got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them.

“So, my phone — my phone line is open,” DeSantis concluded. “But we are — we do appreciate the quick approval of the pre-landfall declaration.”