DeSantis Reveals How He Convinced Biden to Cooperate With Florida’s Storm Recovery Efforts


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis explained to Fox News host Jesse Waters how he got President Joe Biden to work with him to help with Hurricane Ian relief efforts in his state.

Initially President Biden called Democrat mayors in Florida ahead of the storm before finally calling the state’s governor, as Gov. DeSantis said ahead of the storm.

“So I have not personally spoken with the president, but FEMA has approved our pre-landfall request,” DeSantis said during a press conference ahead of the storm making landfall. “We feel like we have a good relationship with FEMA. You know, I’m happy to brief the president if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida, you know, my view on all this is like you got people’s lives at stake, you got their property at stake, and we don’t have time for pettiness. We got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them.”

The two politicians who are opposed on nearly every policy issue did have some kind things to say about one another in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Ian, showing that people can push politics to the side in a time of crisis, however.

Biden asked about his meeting with DeSantis ahead of the two men meeting face-to-face and how his relationship was with the governor.


“In fact, very fine. He complimented me,” the president said. “He thanked me for the immediate response we had. He told me how much he appreciated it. He said he was extremely happy with what’s going on. This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically. This is about saving people’s lives, homes, and businesses.”

The Florida governor also refrained from attacks when he spoke to Fox News host Tucker Carlson after Ian hit. “Given how politicized things are at the moment, are you confident you’re gonna get the federal support Florida needs?” the host asked.

“So, I actually spoke with the President, and he said he wants to be helpful,” the governor said at the time. “So, we did submit a request for reimbursement for the next 60 days at 100 percent. That’s significant support, but it’s a significant storm. I’m actually cautiously optimistic that we do. As you say, Tucker, we live in a very politicized time.”

“But you know, when people are fighting for their lives, when their whole livelihood is at stake, when they’ve lost everything, if you can’t put politics aside for that, then you’re just not going to be able to,” said DeSantis. “So I’ll work with anybody who wants to help the people of Southwest Florida and throughout our state.”

When Gov. DeSantis spoke to Waters this weekend he explained what happened when he spoke to President Biden.


“Well, I’ll tell you what. I mean, what I told him is that the media was making a big deal that he wasn’t talking to me or whatever, and I told him, I was like, ‘Look, I want to work together for these people. Because these people are from all walks of life. Republicans, Democrats, they expect us to be able to put our differences aside,’” DeSantis told Fox News’ Jesse Watters. “And nobody has done more to stand up to this administration than me in Florida over the last year and a half, as you know.


“But you’ve got to be willing to work together to help folks. And so I think the response from local, state, and federal has been pretty seamless,” he added. “And I think that’s a testament that, you know what, we as a country can get things done when it counts.”

Biden, in making remarks about the level of damage Ian left in its wake, used the opportunity to push the left’s narrative about climate change, though earlier in the week, his own acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center, Jamie Rhome, refused to do so when CNN’s Don Lemon pushed him on the issue.


“We’re in a situation where the Colorado River looks more like a stream,” Biden said during a speech in Fort Myers on Wednesday afternoon. “There’s a lot going on, and I think the one thing this has finally ended is a discussion about whether or not there’s climate change, and we should do something about it.”

The look on DeSantis’ face following the remarks was telling and noticed by more than a few users on social media, as the governor appeared to visually dismiss the statement as overtly political and without merit.

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