Like rats fleeing a sinking ship, the DeSantis campaign suffered a surprising defection last week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lost the support of state Rep. Randy Fine, who flipped to former President Donald Trump’s side over concerns of rising antisemitism.
“We can vote for the governor who says the right things, or we can vote for the president who actually does them,” Fine wrote in an op-ed published by the Washington Times. “When it comes to action, Donald Trump has never let us down.”
Fine, the lone Jewish Republican in the state legislature, had steadily carried the water in DeSantis’ culture wars, loosely throwing around “groomer” charges while working to — in his own words — erase the LGBT community.
But DeSantis’ ostrich in the sand approach to Neo Nazi demonstrations in Florida, during a time of great turmoil in the Middle East, was the breaking point for Fine.
“We have to face the truth that many of us have refused to for too long,” Fine said in a speech, following Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 attack in the Gaza Strip. “We are not one giant human family. There are monsters among us.”
Appearing on Meet the Press Oct. 29, DeSantis brushed aside Fine’s remarks.
“He’s just trying to get his 15 minutes of fame,” DeSantis said. “This guy was singing my praises a couple of months ago.”
Privately, DeSantis advisors suggested Fine was sore over not being selected as a finalist for Florida Atlantic University president, a bid he admitted had “fizzled out.”
Meanwhile, polls have DeSantis tied with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, a distant second to Trump in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. The third GOP debate is scheduled for Nov. 8 in Miami and will be televised by NBC News.