As U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist watched barricades rise in Washington D.C., he expressed anger with Gov. Ron DeSantis for remaining silent on “The Big Lie.”
Namely, the St. Petersburg Democrat and candidate for Governor wants his Republican opponent to condemn Donald Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“It is absolutely disgusting and unsurprising to witness Governor DeSantis once again fail to condemn tomorrow’s unpatriotic rally,” Crist said. “The Governor is continuing in his months-long silent support of the insurrectionists who attempted to destroy the foundation of our democracy and their newest plans to once again march on our Capitol — even as Florida leads the nation in arrests related to January 6.”
Of note, DeSantis, who previously served in Congress, immediately denounced violence on Jan. 6.
“Violence or rioting of any kind is unacceptable and the perpetrators must face the full weight of the law,” DeSantis said in a statement on Jan. 6. “The Capitol Police do an admirable job and I thank them for their hard work.”
But DeSantis has been far more cagey about the what motivated insurrectionists. Former President Trump has repeatedly asserted the November election was stolen from him by President Joe Biden, despite no evidence of voter fraud on a widespread scale to change the outcome of the election. Democrats have said that lie fueled stricter voting rules signed into law by DeSantis this year during an exclusive television hit for Fox News.
The Governor, on the same network two days after the election, suggested legislatures in states Biden won by close margins, if lawmakers suspected foul play, could submit an alternate slate of electors.
“Under Article II of the Constitution, presidential electors are done by the legislatures and the schemes they create and the framework. And if there’s departure from that, if they’re not following law, if they’re ignoring law, then they can provide remedies as well. So I would exhaust every option to make sure we have a fair count,” he said.
Since then, DeSantis has acknowledged Biden won, but declined to say if he thought the election was fair.
Now, Trump supporters are scheduled to rally again in Washington, this time decrying those arrested in the Jan. 6 riots as being unfairly treated and detained as “political prisoners.” Trump has echoed those statements.
Crist said the Governor needs to denounce the new rally and the lies behind it.
“Floridians will hold Governor DeSantis accountable for his complicity and unwillingness to protect and defend our communities from those who sought to harm our republic,” Crist said. “The Governor has an obligation to the people he serves to publicly denounce tomorrow’s rally and the false claims that these insurrectionists are political prisoners being unjustly persecuted. Where do you stand, Governor? Floridians demand an answer.”
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