Since Wednesday, South Florida has been deluged with historic rainfall that left entire neighborhoods underwater and closed a regional airport. Some parts of Fort Lauderdale received 25 inches of rain in roughly 24 hours. The scale of the disaster is certain to be catastrophic. Videos and images show people and cars stranded in floodwaters, collapsed roofs, and other damage.
While his constituents swam to safety and took shelter under overpasses and on roofs, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was safe and dry in Ohio. DeSantis has spent recent weeks on a book tour that most view as a soft launch for his impending presidential campaign.
Now, DeSantis is getting thrashed online for ignoring the suffering in South Florida. He’s taking shots from both liberals and people who support former President Donald Trump.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “Fort Lauderdale is under water and DeSantis is campaigning in Ohio right now instead of taking care of the people suffering in his state.”
A Trump supporter on Truth Social wrote, “Where is DeSantis?? In Ohio promoting himself!”
Similar commentary flooded Trump’s social media platform on Thursday.
The situation is proving to be a rare occasion that liberals and Trump supporters find themselves in agreement.
Democratic commentator Kaivan Shroff commented, “DeSantis was too busy giving this terribly boring speech in Ohio this morning to be bothered with massive flooding in Fort Lauderdale. A disgrace of a leader.”
Shroff included a clip of DeSantis saying, “I’m going to get out in front of issues,” juxtaposed over footage of dozens of cars stranded in the flood in Fort Lauderdale.
Max Steele, director of federal and political communications for gun safety group Everytown, pointed out that DeSantis’ personal account was tweeting campaign videos on Thursday, but hadn’t mentioned the flooding in his state.
“Cool story Ron. Meanwhile in Florida,” @Jkeene22 commented on DeSantis’ tweet about his “battle against the woke agenda.” They included a GIF of a person floating on a flamingo-shaped inner tube.
Another joked that DeSantis was pleading with citizens to simply “don’t say rain,” a jab at the “don’t say gay” law he signed last year.
Other comments were similarly pithy.
The fervor escalated after news broke on Thursday that DeSantis had yet to contact the mayor of Fort Lauderdale.
Around midday, Mayor Dean Trantalis told reporters that he hadn’t heard from the governor.
“So, the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale just told reporters that he still hasn’t received any call from ‘Governor’ Ron DeSantis since the flooding started,” @Victorshi2020 said.
“Why? Because DeSantis is busier selling books & running for President than he is actually caring about Florida. Shameful.”
DeSantis’ administration responded by releasing a rundown of everything it says state agencies are doing to assist residents impacted by the flood that’s being described as a “thousand-year incident.”