President Joe Biden sought to boost Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings during an event in Florida on Tuesday, but Sunshine State Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis joked that Biden’s move to campaign against him represents “an in-kind contribution” to his campaign.
DeSantis also quipped that his campaign would be willing to “underwrite” Biden to remain in the state for the remainder of the campaign, saying that if the president wants to stick around, “it’ll be on our dime.”
Biden has been underwater in job approval polling for quite some time.
The Florida governor has become a popular figure on the political right who many view as a potential future GOP presidential contender. During a debate last month, Crist pressed DeSantis on whether he would serve for a full four-year term if he secures reelection as governor. DeSantis quipped that “the only worn out old donkey” he is seeking to “put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.”
Democrats are aiming to cling to control of the House and Senate during the election contests around the nation next week.
Demings is running against incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Crist previously served as Florida governor from early 2007 through early 2011 after being elected to the role as a Republican. Crist lost the 2010 U.S. Senate race to Republican Marco Rubio while running as an independent. He later lost the 2014 Florida governor’s race to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott while running as a Democrat. Crist later served as a Democratic lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives but resigned from that job earlier this year as he focused on his gubernatorial run.
On the heels of his primary victory in August, Crist said that he did not want the votes of DeSantis supporters, and he accused the governor’s backers of harboring hate within their hearts.
Charlie Crist speaks in St. Pete for first time since accepting Democratic nomination for governor