Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) hit back on Monday at an MSNBC panel’s latest nickname for his wife Casey, arguing that “it just shows they view her as a threat.”
DeSantis told Fox News on Monday that she and him “kind of shrug it off because we know it just shows they view her as a threat, because the message that she was bringing in Iowa about the rights of parents and how we are not going to take this anymore with the Left trying to indoctrinate our kids.”
He added that “she’s a great advocate for families” and “we wear criticism from MSNBC as a badge of honor.”
Casey DeSantis was dubbed “America’s Karen” by former Florida Rep. David Jolly, who called her a “fairly compelling political figure in Florida and now nationally.”
“For many, she’s the brighter side to Florida’s angry governor. For others, she’s become America’s Karen,” he said, later adding: “Look, she’s a more effective messenger than Ron DeSantis, but if all she’s doing is amplifying the wrong message, she’s actually clarifying Ron DeSantis’s weaknesses.”
Another guest on the panel, the Lincoln Project’s Tara Setmayer, laughed at Jolly’s nickname and chimed in that she had “called her this, you know, Serena Waterford wannabe,” a reference to an antagonist in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale.
The response comes after an ad by Casey DeSantis went viral, in which she announced her “Mamas for DeSantis” initiative.
But “America’s Karen” and “Serena Waterford wannabe” are far from the only nicknames Casey DeSantis has been called recently.
In June, the Daily Beast’s executive editor called Casey DeSantis “Walmart Melania” after she appeared at a campaign event wearing a black leather jacket with the words “Where woke goes to die” on the back.
“To be fair, Casey DeSantis wore the bomber to a charity biker rally and I’m sure the campaign intended it to be a viral moment, like Melania Trump’s infamous ‘I Really Don’t Care’ coat that the former First Lady donned to check out the border crisis,” wrote Katie Baker.
Baker also called her “Sunshine State Lady Macbeth” at one point in the article—a reference to a remark by Trump ally Roger Stone who compared her to the Shakespearian character last fall.
Clips of Jolly’s “America’s Karen” declaration circulated on social media, prompting others to share different nicknames, such as “Tacky Onassis.”
Fox News commentators defended Casey DeSantis from the onslaught of nicknames, with Emily Compagno calling the MSNBC panel’s remarks “unacceptable.” Compagno also derided the use of the term “Karen,” arguing the term is racist.
“For them to mock a woman who’s been an incredible figure in government as well as socio-politically in this country, who has done so much including beat breast cancer, that was an ugly mockery,” Compagno said Monday. “It has no place, certainly on mainstream media, but apparently because she is conservative, then all bets are off.”