MSNBC Accuses DeSantis of ‘Violent Language’ Towards Fauci

News & Politics

MSNBC’s Katie Phang was one of several blue checks who fell for a hoax about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sunday but, instead of apologizing for that on her Saturday show, she blamed DeSantis’s “dangerous statements” for creating a dangerous environment. Together with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the duo would also condemn Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist for being too nice.

After playing a clip of DeSantis calling Dr. Anthony Fauci a “little elf” who should be “chucked across the Potomac,” Phang saw a pattern, “violent language has grown more mainstream among Republicans. And we’ve seen how it could lead to real life consequences from the January 6th insurrection to the recent attack on the FBI’s facility in Cincinnati. So, when Governor Ron DeSantis, a leading member of the Republican Party, with a possible eye on the presidency makes dangerous statements like these we shouldn’t take it lightly.”

Phang then introduced Fried, who lost to Crist in the recent Democratic Primary, and lobbed a softball her way, “Listen, during your campaign, you made it very clear that Ron DeSantis was trafficking in divisive rhetoric. I mean, that’s almost an understatement, wouldn’t you tend to agree?”

Naturally, Fried did, “I mean, I was out at a forum a couple months ago and had a Proud Boy that was in the forum who accosted me verbally and so you are seeing this aggressiveness all throughout the state. You’ve seen neo-Nazis marching in our street. We’re seeing even the rhetoric that’s going after that federal judge who signed the warrant.”

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After Fried accused DeSantis of “escalating the situation,” Phang responded, not by pointing out that it was not that long ago somebody tried to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh, but by attacking Crist from the left.

After playing a clip of Crist on Wednesday’s Morning Joe declaring, “He is on the battlefield of hate. I am on the battlefield of love. I’m gonna beat him because I am running on love and love always wins,” Phang wondered, “Okay. So Nikki. Let’s speak frankly here, though, I mean, shouldn’t Charlie Crist be ready to fight fire with fire?”

Again, Fried agreed and lamented that DeSantis doesn’t like the media, “He really tried to show this machismo personality. That he is just going to go, whether it’s the media, going after the media during the COVID, and going after anybody who goes against him.” 

Somebody who goes after anybody who goes against him? That sounds an awful lot like who DeSantis was criticizing.

This segment was sponsored by BMW.

Here is a transcript for the August 27 show:

MSNBC The Katie Phang Show

8/27/2022

7:35 AM ET

KATIE PHANG: So, violent language has grown more mainstream among Republicans. And we’ve seen how it could lead to real life consequences from the January 6th insurrection to the recent attack on the FBI’s facility in Cincinnati. So, when Governor Ron DeSantis, a leading member of the Republican Party, with a possible eye on the presidency makes dangerous statements like these we shouldn’t take it lightly. 

Joining me now on set is Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who ran in the Democratic Primary to take on Ron DeSantis for governor in November. Charlie Crist ended up with the nom. Commissioner Fried, thank you again for being on the show. Listen, during your campaign, you made it very clear that Ron DeSantis was trafficking in divisive rhetoric. I mean, that’s almost an understatement, wouldn’t you tend to agree? 

NIKKI FRIED: Yeah, It’s very dangerous, and we are seeing the heightened, just, violence in our state. I mean, I was out at a forum a couple months ago and had a Proud Boy that was in the forum who accosted me verbally and so you are seeing this aggressiveness all throughout the state. You’ve seen neo-Nazis marching in our street. We’re seeing even the rhetoric that’s going after that federal judge who signed the warrant. 

And unfortunately, DeSantis is just escalating the situation by having these commercials, these talking points. And it’s getting dangerous out here. 

PHANG: So, you’re the only person who actually successfully won a statewide race as the commissioner of agriculture and unfortunately lost in the primary to Charlie Crist. So Charlie Crist was actually on the show, a while ago, and he was asked by me, how do you plan on fighting Ron DeSantis when it comes to maybe this ultimate battle royale between the two of them and quickly, this is what he had to say about that.

CHARLIE CRIST: He is on the battlefield of hate. I am on the battlefield of love. I’m gonna beat him because I am running on love and love always wins. 

PHANG: Okay. So Nikki. Let’s speak frankly here, though, I mean, shouldn’t Charlie Crist be ready to fight fire with fire? 

FRIED: Yeah, you got to be ready because unfortunately we’re in a different time right now. Where you are having someone like Ron DeSantis, who spent the last three-and-a-half years, even during his campaign for governor in 2018. He really tried to show this machismo personality. That he is just going to go, whether it’s the media, going after the media during the COVID, and going after anybody who goes against him. 

I mean look, he and I battle it out all the time in cabinet meetings and you’re not gonna get the respect of people in our state and be able to pull other individuals away from this awful rhetoric if you’re willing to stand up against it. And that’s why we did throughout the entire campaign. But also what I’ve been doing as commissioner of agriculture. Being in the trenches every single day. Taking him on. Because people want to know, yes, we need to reunite our state. Yes, we have to start the rhetoric. Yes, we’ve got to stop the culture wars. But we have to get your first. 

PHANG: Yeah.

FRIED: And in order for us to get there, we’ve got to show strength. And that’s what Democrats want. Democrats want right now, those fierce fighters that are gonna stand up for our ideals and push back on this dangerous rhetoric.

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