Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - What They Are Saying: Governor DeSantis' Hurricane Idalia Response

September 05, 2023

"This is the best of Ron DeSantis." "He gets the job done.""DeSantis here is at his strongest.""Governor DeSantis is putting on a masterclass in how to handle and lead through a crisis.""A no-nonsense approach of helping people in their darkest hours."

Tallahassee, FL - Wall Street Journal: Hurricane Ron DeSantis

This seems to be Mr. DeSantis in his element, examining the figures, the emergency response plans, the Covid-19 statistics, and then synthesizing it into government policy...

There's a reason that at least some Republican voters have preferred to nominate governors, who have executive experience, over legislators, whose basic job description is to spend three hours orating followed by one minute voting. Using the bully pulpit effectively is important for a President, but so is dragging better policy out of a vast federal bureaucracy that views a Republican in the Oval Office as a temporary hostile occupying power...

His competitors might have a better 15-second retort to the 30-second drive-by at the debate. But could they get the bridge open?

Outnumbered Panel on Fox News

TAMMY BRUCE: It was the right thing to do. It was empathetic. He started immediately on what he could do when it came to funds. And that local leader stepped up. And what I noticed, and this is what I think has to be discussed, is that when she said, there's no politics today, right, there's no parties. That's when you heard more applause. It was a few voices that were drowning out. And then when people were, you know, told to let's back up a little bit, they appreciated that. What's your take?

EMILY CAMPAGNO: Interestingly, both of those examples of leadership sort of represented the level that they represent. So we had the federal level coming in steady and strong like an oak saying, this is the funding that I'm going to give my deepest condolences, my heartbreaks with you. And then the local council woman who says, hold on guys, a bullet knows no party, let's let this Governor speak. Let's let him lead. I really appreciated that level of connection that we saw. And especially when he went on to talk about when he was addressing his constituents about the impending storm and saying, so clearly, so down to earth, you don't need to leave the state, the state, we've got you here, you just need to get to higher ground. And this is what you need. He suspended his campaign to engage and connect with local and state constituents because he at his heart is a servant, because he understands he's a steward of the people. And it's such a stark contrast with so many others, including our current commander in chief who at all times I feel is reading a script or doing what he's told to do. And the actual connection is nonexistent.

GUY BENSON: And, you know, the no comment moment, the lying on the beach, while Americans are suffering, I can understand why people are sort of looking at this split screen between what we're seeing in Florida from the Governor, and what we saw just very recently from the President of the United States. And this is the other thing on a political point. I'm sure that Governor DeSantis and his campaign would love to be on the ground in Iowa right now. Because he's running for president. And he's trailing President Trump by a good margin there. But there's reports on the ground that he's making a comeback, and he's got some momentum. This is the moment where you want to build on that momentum. You want to be on the ground, pressing the flesh, pressing that advantage. But he's back home, because that's the job. He sought that office. He won by 20 points. His responsibility in a moment of crisis - two crises to be there. Even when it's painful.

CHERYL CASONE: I think Ron DeSantis looks very presidential over the weekend, if you will, the opposite of what we saw, in particular, to the response to Maui, and those wildfires. And again, I go back to what the Democrats are doing, they're focusing on one issue and ignoring the reality of what's happening on the ground in Florida, including, by the way, a hurricane that is on the way. Good for Ron DeSantis.

TAMMY BRUCE: And so that's it right this is about it is that it's all of this is wrapped up in national security, personal security, the economy, what individual leadership can do.

David Asman on Fox News

But the fact is, is that you had you had nothing but rhetoric from the President and nothing but action from Governor DeSantis.

Townhall: 'Power Within Six Hours': Cedar Key Sees Florida's Strong Response to Hurricane Idalia

DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis did visit the island on Thursday to survey the damage and talk with locals. They spoke with Laura Duncan, who owns Duncan's on the Gulf. Located right on the water, it was hallowed out and suffered structural damage. Despite the setback, Duncan told DeSantis she would like to rebuild on the same spot.

"It means a lot to us. It gives us a lot of comfort to know that he is part of what's going on and has been always supportive to his people in Florida. God bless him," Duncan told Townhall on what DeSantis' visit meant to her, also praising the initial response from FEMA and local authorities...

Lamar Gore, a local contractor, was helping clean out his daughter's art store on 2nd Street. A lifelong resident of the area, Gore was grateful they were without power for only six hours after Hurricane Idalia made landfall.

"All the times that we've had even lesser storms than this. [Hurricane] Hermine wasn't quite as bad as this but...I live in Rosewood, so we were out of power for five days. They had power on the island before we had power there. After the [Idalia's] eye passed us, we had power within six hours. Unheard of," Gore said.

DeSantis announced on Thursday the linemen who had been staged ahead of Hurricane Idalia making landfall had restored power to almost half a million homes within 24 hours. Power has been restored to all but four counties: Taylor, Madison, Hamilton, and Lafayette. Most of the Florida National Guard has been demobilized, with their missions being completed. While the acute needs of the hardest hit areas are being met, the residents of the Big Bend region have a long road to make a full recovery.

Spencer Brown on Fox News

Yeah, that's right. And I think you know, no matter who your pick is for 2024, it's hard to deny that Governor DeSantis is putting on a masterclass in how to handle and lead through a crisis and whether that be the preparation that went into this. And even just the response, you know, it's been less than 24 hours since the hurricane made landfall in already 6500 miles where the roads have been cleared. You know, they've restored power to more than a quarter of a million customers. It's clear that as he pointed out on the debate stage, a lot of people might be talking about how they lead, but he's really showing exactly how he leads and so I think that is a benefit to him again, and as Beverly was pointing out, you know, this is kind of the first time in recent memory the airwaves have not been on dominated by what's going on in courts with the former president.

Governor Chris Sununu on NBC Meet the Press

I think the key is you can't make politics out of a disaster like that. **I think Governor DeSantis has actually handled both the previous and current very significant hurricanes very, very well**.

Mark Levin

It's come to the point in Florida with this Governor DeSantis that people expect it to be handled as well as any human being can handle it... And there's a reason for that. **This guy's a can do guy. That's what he is. That's what he does**.

Sean Hannity on Fox News

Florida Governor DeSantis has been hard at work that's what leaders do in times of crisis, they show up they get to work.

Glenn Beck & Stu Burguiere

BECK: By the way, I think the political comment of the week has got to go to Ron DeSantis. Who said if you loot, we shoot. I mean that is - thank you. Yeah, thank you … here in Florida, they might have a gun. Yeah, be careful. You loot we shoot.

BURGUIERE: By the way, you could tell by the fact that there's no coverage of this hurricane and what the response was, it must have gone really well.

Tomi Lauren on Outkick: Tomi Lauren is Fearless

So hurricanes are nothing new to Florida residents. And since Ron DeSantis became Governor true leadership has been a steady constant as well. His ability to plan execute and lead during times of disaster is unmatched. Whether it be a hurricane or COVID tyranny, or just day to day tasks, he shows up, he does the job he makes it about the people and not himself, how refreshing. And as much as the mainstream networks wish they could say otherwise. And as much as they likely hated to feature his leadership this week in the face of Hurricane Idalia. Even they couldn't find a way to make the Governor look bad. He gave them no room to do that not an inch … And that's what leading from the front looks like and in times of crisis whether Trump supporters and leftist want to admit it or not, Ron DeSantis is second to none ... when push comes to shove, he gets the job done. Make America Florida.

James Freeman on Fox News

SANDRA SMITH: … cancel campaign stops suspending his campaign. He shines in these moments.

FREEMAN: He has done well, I think that is the main case he makes to voters that he's done very well in his day job his current job as Governor. We remember roughly a year ago, Hurricane Ian ravaging southwest Florida. I think there were a lot of people in our industry who wanted to report that he botched the response. He didn't and that's part of the reason that he's essentially the main alternative to Donald Trump today.

Piers Morgan on Fox News

You made a great point about DeSantis which is I've been watching him with what's been going on in the last 24 hours: exemplary leadership in a disaster. Very good for him I think in terms of how the American people perceive him as a leader.

Dan Eberhart on Fox Business

What you are seeing in Florida right now Neil is the way Governor DeSantis runs the state and how he suspended his campaign to focus on the hurricane, the aftermath, and making sure people were prepared and the state is helping as many people as possible. The difference in him and former President Trump is the fact that Governor DeSantis is getting stuff done. He runs the state effectively. He's focused on people and their problems. He's not focused on grievance headlines or poking fun at other candidates. He's focused on getting stuff done, and he's focused on what he would like to do for the country, and I think it's a great split screen. Governor DeSantis is getting stuff done, he's focused on solving people's problems, and former President Trump is focused on grievance issues and poking fun at other candidates which isn't helpful especially in Florida where we are dealing with the hurricane aftermath.

Judge Jeanine Pirro on Fox News

It's the opposite of what we saw in Maui... All of this stuff can be handled if we recognize, as Ron DeSantis is recognizing, that you can prepare for it, you can plan ahead, and you can be ahead of the game.

Christian Whiton on Fox Business

If you want someone who is going to be flashy in debates, well, I think he did very well in debates. Polls indicate he gained after that first debate on Fox News, but someone who can actually administer a difficult executive, sprawling executive branch, which has now been demonstrated twice, the hurricane recovery and more significant hurricane last year with Ian. if you contrast it to other candidates, former president Donald Trump and the COVID crisis where we had two-hour press conferences and Anthony Fauci in charge and haphazard response compared to the coherent one, Donald Trump never had control over his own administration. Don't take my word for that. He says it himself. He said he fired a bunch of losers and fired all these people. This hasn't been a problem for Ron DeSantis who can manage his own executive branch. Voters see that and as we're still 400 plus days from the election, still four months from Iowa, plenty of time to make up the gap with Donald Trump and I think after Iowa which I think he'll win, we'll see a race that's very fluid.

Ben Shapiro on DeSantis dealing with crises like Hurricane Idalia

This is the best of Ron DeSantis right, when he's being Governor. This is again why he would make a good president. He's actually good at the actual job. He was asked by a reporter about Donald Trump and the fact that Trump has spent effectively little brain power on the hurricane in Florida. He was tweeting a lot putting a lot of Truth Socials or whatever. DeSantis answers however, he gives the proper answer, which is why are you asking me about this? I'm busy being Governor.

Joe Concha on Fox News

TRACE: Joe, very quickly to you just to kind of finish up what Kevin was saying there. Ron DeSantis off the campaign trail for a while back on hurricane duty for a couple of days, the shooting in Jacksonville. He kind of flourishes in these tough times for Floridians.

CONCHA: We've seen in hurricanes that have hit Florida before, Trace, that he has done an exceptional job in terms of preparing the state and then afterwards after the damage is done repairing the state so DeSantis here is at his strongest, obviously again, this is a Governor who won by nearly 20 points in November, won in blue counties such as Miami Dade, Palm Beach, and even won with Hispanics and suburban women. Ron DeSantis here can really shine without campaigning, but it is like a campaign to show I could run the country like I run my state. Vote for me if you want America to look like Florida.

Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt on Fox News

KILMEADE: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just handles his stuff exceedingly well. Yesterday, another example, comes out adlibs knows his stuff by hand. Knows the procedures. Not a lot of wasted words or gratuitous warnings. He's like you don't have to leave the state but you just need to get out of the way. And then you need to come back. You know, you guys know how to handle it. I just thought he talks to you like adults, and Florida is experienced in doing it. But you can only do so much in blocking mother nature.

EARHARDT: And you know, he's exhausted he's been on the campaign trail every single day left the campaign trail to go back home to Florida to deal with the residents there -

KILMEADE: And the shooting.

EARHARDT: - is the pressing issue. Exactly, The shooting in Jacksonville.

Julia Manchester on MSNBC

Yeah, absolutely a task. And I think oftentimes in these moments, Governor DeSantis shows his best side when he's showing his leadership in this, you know, the executive capacity to respond to these crises. And I think it's also interesting because also in these moments, you see him working very well together with the man he's challenging: President Biden. You know, I remember the 2021 building collapse in Surfside Florida, and then hurricane Ian of course, last year, during those two instances, we saw Governor DeSantis and President Biden really come together to put the federal and state governments best foot forward. So you're seeing that I think, again, and it's interesting to see them, you know, very much complementing each other when talking to reporters about the coordination between the federal and state response. But going back to Governor DeSantis, in particular, I mean, you're absolutely right. This is always an opportunity, particularly because he's running for an executive position. And, you know, I guess you could look at it and say, Okay, well, he's off the campaign trail. He's out of these early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire, but he like Trump has in many cases is in a way, you know, sucking up the oxygen this week in terms of media attention, getting to be on national news, showing off his executive leadership skills.

Brian Kilmeade on Fox News

Governor leaves the campaign trail, obviously he's Governor and he has to handle the Jacksonville shooting, the horrific racial inspired shooting over in Jacksonville, goes there and then immediately goes and deals with the hurricane. But I also think that's the best way to see if that candidate is the type of person to run the country. How do they act in a crisis with their state.

Katie Pavlich on Fox News

Ron DeSantis prepared the state for if it was going to be really bad and also good preparation makes it so the impact of things isn't as severe. So for example if the power goes out when the Governor has thousands of linemen ready to go to fix those things it makes the consequences and the aftermath much more bearable.

Greta Van Susteren on Newsmax

You know, it's terrible that Florida has so much experience with hurricanes but boy, it sure shows the response and even that we're listening to from the Governor from the people as well as the search and rescue people. It's you know, it's quite amazing how well Florida is responding.

Robert Salvador on Newsmax

ROBERT SALVADOR: And then the last part was we were going to be donating Starlink services for areas that lost internet. As I said, you know, as soon as that hurricane passed, things were back up. So we haven't had to do that yet, because of you know, it's been such a strong response from the state thus far.

ROBERT FINNERTY: Yeah. And it seems like Ron DeSantis, once again, has handled this beautifully. And he's been through several including Hurricane Ian 11 months ago. But talk to us about the area and the storm, you know, went into Georgia, South Carolina, and today it will make its way into the Atlantic Ocean. Talk to us about the area where the storm made landfall not far from Cedar Key, the Big Bend area. I lived in Florida for about five years. And if you live in Florida, you call that old Florida up there hasn't been touched by a Hurricane since record-keeping began at least a century. And a lot of the buildings up there are pre–Hurricane Andrew construction, meaning they are not designed to weather any kind of storm or storm surge. What are you hearing from folks living up in that area?

ROBERT SALVADOR: Sure. You know, I think one of the things that happened was people heeded the warnings this time. You know, if you remember last year, during Hurricane Ian, you know, some of the more unfortunate and tragic things that happened, were in areas where the storm surge came in. And you know, there was loss of life, obviously, loss of property. To your point, you know, up in Cedar Key, I do think there was I believe was a 12 to 15 foot storm surge. So as far as you know, property damage and things like that there is significant damage in Nashville, the state's going to have to help people get back on their feet. But to the last report that I heard, there was no loss of life, which is obviously priority number one. And you know, to what you just said earlier, I think the state and Governor DeSantis really did a great job notifying everyone making sure you know, they were very, very clear saying get out of these places, you can not survive and stay there. And I think, you know, Floridians heeded those warnings. So, people in those direct areas that were hit will definitely have some recovery. You know, the state needs to work with them to get them back on their feet. But I think overall, you know, it's as fortunate of an outcome that we could have hoped for here in Florida, and the recovery is, you know, ongoing and pretty strong the spark.

State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia on Newsmax

First, I really need to thank the leadership of Governor DeSantis. Because he's been out in front on this issue from the very beginning, let everybody know well ahead of time that we were in fear of being struck by this hurricane. But right now the focus is on making sure that we're clearing the low roadways and the infrastructure so emergency vehicles can get in. We're seeing a lot of water damage in the areas that I'm in further north, obviously in Taylor County where it's been hit a lot of wind damage, but right now, the Governor and his teams are making sure that there's power to a lot of these residents. I think we had almost 600,000 homes without power. And I think there's about 200 left, so they're doing a great job, making sure all the linemen were staged in advance and right now we're just in the process of rebuilding the communities which unfortunately we're used to in Florida, but it does help when you have somebody like Ron DeSantis leading the charge.

Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, & Ainsley Earhardt on Fox News

KILMEADE: I love Governor DeSantis' tone through the whole thing just over the last few days, not sensationalistic right to the point, a matter of fact -

EARHARDT: Not dramatic.

DOOCY: He's had a lot of practice.

KILMEADE: Not his hair on fire. And that's the same way he approached the pandemic. Okay, here's the surge. This is where I got to do - this is where the vaccines belong. It's very, very similar style from when we were dealing with him with two years of the pandemic.

Scott Jennings on CNN State of the Union

The only thing that people care about is whether the response is working correctly. And everybody in Florida agrees the response from the federal and the state government is working exactly as it should. Ron DeSantis has a long history of getting these hurricane emergency situations correct. A photo op is not going to change that. Are they doing the job they're supposed to do? Absolutely.

Aishah Hasnie on Fox News

And I think words are very different than actions. Actions speak louder, right, and we are watching what's happening in Florida and how Governor DeSantis is responding. I'm interesting to hear from some political pundits out there on how they make the juxtaposition between how the Governor is responding to this situation, this hurricane, and how the president is.

Piers Morgan on Fox News

What it is, and I was really struck actually by the difference between his response, both in Maui and then again to the hurricane in Florida, and that of Ron DeSantis is running for president because he might end up potentially being in the White House.

On the one hand, you have a guy who's currently got the job, didn't want to comment originally about marriage, I found extraordinary tone deaf, I've no comment to make about one of the worst natural disasters in modern American history. He didn't want to leave his holiday go down there, when of course any normal person, with that scale of disaster, would have gone straight on a plane, just for the optics, never mind anything else. And now, now you want to make it all about himself and this weird fire that went on in his house, we seem to get progressively worse, the only fire known in history that's got steadily worse the year after year after year, since it actually was put out.

By contrast, DeSantis I've been really impressed. I think he's just basically said, forget politics, put all that to one side. He got up at four o'clock in the morning, and he kept pounding that beat. He was on television all day... It's why he's so popular as a Governor, and why he's been so successful. He gets stuff done. And he didn't play politics. He welcomed the President calling him he talked about that. But no way. Did I hear him blame anything. And what's happened down in Florida is really interesting. Three people dead so far, way, way fewer people have died than they were anticipating. Maybe because the preparation that went on by Governor DeSantis and his team was exemplary. And there's a lesson for Joe Biden, stop playing the politics. Do your job.

Manny Diaz on Fox Business Network

We know how important it is not only for the academics, the mental health, and for the parents to be able to do what they need to do. But really all of it speaks to leadership of Governor DeSantis and his staying on course with his philosophy that kids need to be in school in person.

Kat Cammack on Fox News

What we have seen through Governor DeSantis is a no-nonsense approach of helping people in their darkest hours. And that's really what I feel we need someone who is battle tested.

CBS News on the state of Florida's quick response to Hurricane Idalia

The Governor brings up a really good point. Here in Florida, what they do well is respond because they're so used to responding to the storms. So almost immediately in the Perry Florida area where the storm made landfall, we heard that they had crews checking on people first responders into the area. So the response is pretty quick.

Floridian commends the response to Hurricane Idalia on ABC News

Sure. The waters have largely receded, our bridges are passable again. There's a great number of our commercial structures that can maybe not even be rebuilt. I think most of the homes will be able to be rebuilt, but catastrophic is the only way to describe the damage. Governor DeSantis is going to be here today. And so far, the response from federal state and local government has been overwhelming, and I'm hoping with the Governor's visit today, I'm certain he'll do everything he can to get us the rest of the resources we need. But I think our recovery time is going to be measured in months, not weeks.

Mayor Brian J. Aungst Sr. on CBS

Well, the Governor … there was bridges that were closed streets that were closed, underwater on the beach, and he just wanted to know if we needed any immediate help. I said no, but thank you and we will be in touch. So he was checking in just to make sure everything was as good as it could be.

Lieutenant Governor Nunez on Newsmax

The Governor has been working very closely with our federal partners he requested a declaration of emergency which was granted very quickly. The Governor has been in constant communication with all of our partners at the local level. In particular, we know each county is going to have different needs. But we have staged and prepositioned assets all across the state. So like I mentioned, urban search and rescue, we've got lineman, we've got 5,500 National Guardsmen that will that will be helping with the distribution of water supplies, meals, etc. So everything here from Florida is a leader in emergency management and managing hurricanes, no doubt at the national level. So it's a well-oiled machine but we're going to stand by people because we know people are suffering, they're hurting. And as we continue to see the impact of the damage. Governor DeSantis and I will be there every step of the way as they continue to rebuild.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz CNN

The Governor is doing a good job on emergency management. And he has since he came into office, he really understood that emergency management in Florida needed to be the top agency in the country. And in fact, on the very first day that I took over, in 2019, the very first place we went to was Mexico beach. And quite frankly, the government in Florida including the Governor has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into building the greatest Emergency Management Agency of any state in the state of Florida. And they're battle tested, right, they just did in a year ago. And so, you know, the state of Florida is on top of emergency management. We have to be when you have storms like Michael, Ian, and now Idalia all in a four-year period. But look, you know, the state is doing a good job. You know, we've had a couple loss of life, but that's been kept down to a minimum. I think a lot of lessons learned from me and a lot of people listened and heeded those evacuation warnings. But look, we're not out of the woods yet. You know, the immediate response is still ongoing before they eventually transition to recovery.

Bryan Stern, Project Dynamo Founder & CEO on Fox News

I think we saw we saw a lot of damages as many people did, but I really think that this is a testament to Governor DeSantis' leadership, he mobilized a lot of resources he got a lot a lot a lot of things on the street, the electrical guys were out the National Guard was out and people listened to the warnings to evacuate. So I'm not aware of actually have any loss of life with this disaster. You know, if we compare this to Maui, my team and I just got back from Maui where it was so poorly handled from a disaster perspective. Yes, there's damage and pretty rough stuff but better.

Sherrif McNeil on Fox News

Oh, absolutely. Governor DeSantis has stepped up and made sure that this entire state got all the resources they need. And that includes us in Leon County. Have we needed those - the Governor has done a tremendously good job for responding to this hurricane.

Steve Deace

You contrast this now with at this point, just the ruthless efficiency of how he governs in Florida. I don't even know he'll get credit for it anymore. You just take it for granted. It's like Tony Gwynn. Just take for granted Tony Gwynn is going to show up in the ballpark go two for four every day. Just take it for granted. He's going to go two for four every day. He's going to hit 370 every year. And the team may suck around him and may be good around him. You're going to take for granted for 20 years that Tony Gwynn is just going to show up and hit 370 every year. You're just going to take it for granted … give me the guy who hits 40 home runs but he struck out 230 times and hit 220. Yeah, I mean that's the reality of where we are. This was a category four hurricane. Every major airport in Florida in its wake reopened already. By the time we went to bed last night, 400,000 people had had their power restored within 24 hours of a category four storm. And it would only be impressive except they just did this all last year. This happened last year in that state as he was down the stretch to last month of a reelection campaign. Same exact thing. And then we sit here on election night wondering what's going on in Antrim County, Michigan where all these no chain of custody absentee ballots coming from, Florida, the state that made hanging chad a term we all unfortunately learned 20 years ago, at 10:30 he's out there smoking Red Auerbach cigar. Shut it down. We're done. See in the morning. We're all done here.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - What They Are Saying: Governor DeSantis' Hurricane Idalia Response Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/364715

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