Roughly halfway through CNN’s Florida Governor’s Debate, Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum accused Republican Ron DeSantis of “doing all he can to draw attention to the color of my skin.”
Gillum made the remark after CNN’s debate host, Jake Tapper, asked DeSantis to respond to Florida voters that, Tapper alleged, may have concerns about DeSantis’s “tolerance.” Tapper cited an on-air comment by DeSantis just a day after the primary in which DeSantis said off-handedly that voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” in reference to Florida’s booming economy.
DeSantis flatly denied allegations of racism and cited his work as a military lawyer and prosecutor before Tapper allowed Gillum to respond.
“The congressman let us know exactly where he was going to take this race the day after he won the nomination. The ‘monkey up’ comment said it all. And he has only continued over the course of his campaign to draw attention to the color of my skin.”
Moments earlier, Gillum had accused DeSantis of “moderating a racist Facebook page,” and expressed disbelief after DeSantis pointed out that anyone can invite other users to become admins on their pages. DeSantis said he solved the problem by deleting his personal Facebook page.
It wasn’t the first time Gillum has played the race card since he shocked the Florida political world after winning the Democratic primary for governor. In the hours after the primary election when DeSantis made the “monkey this up” comment, Gillum appeared in an interview with FOX News host Shepard Smith and compared DeSantis’s comments with using a racist “dog whistle.”
“Well, I’ll try to be articulate, Chris, and simply say that kind of vitriol…and he’s apparently given up the whistle, and they’ve gone to the bullhorn with these kinds of tactics, but they’re not going to work.”
When The Capitolist published an analysis piece weeks ago explaining why Gillum’s earlier decision to play the race card was a major tactical error, a Gillum representative contacted The Capitolist denied that Gillum would ever play the race card.
Watch the exchange where Gillum plays the race card.