Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has been one of the biggest Republican critics so far this year of President Biden and his Democratic administration.
But amid the horrific building collapse in Surfside, Florida – with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) working side by side with Florida authorities on the response efforts – partisan politics melted away on Thursday as the governor and the president sat side by side at a briefing close to the site of the deadly disaster.
“Thank you, Mr. President. And you’ve recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one. And you’ve been very supportive,” the governor said as he praised Biden and the federal government’s efforts.Biden highlighted the bipartisan approach to the tragedy, saying that “we’re letting the nation know we can cooperate.”
DeSantis – a conservative congressman who was narrowly elected Florida governor in 2018 thanks in part to support from his political ally, then-President Trump – has seen his popularity surge among Republican voters in Florida and around the nation, thanks in large part to his steering of his state amid the coronavirus pandemic and his combative pushback against COVID restrictions.
That’s fueled speculation about possible national ambitions and a potential 2024 Republican presidential nomination run by DeSantis.