DeSantis camp claims ‘monkey’ comment was unrelated to opponent’s race

The morning after winning his party’s nomination in the Florida gubernatorial race, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis stepped in it during a Fox News Channel interview.

“The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” the Republican said.

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He was referencing his black opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gallum.

Democrats in the state and beyond almost immediately denounced his comment as a thinly veiled racist attack. The DeSantis campaign released a statement denying any such intent.

“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses,” said spokesman Stephen Lawson. “To characterize it as anything else is absurd.”
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