Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential candidate in the 2024 Republican presidential race, has indicated that he will temporarily halt his campaign to address the effects of Hurricane Idalia on the state. DeSantis mentioned his prior experience handling Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida last September while he was running for governor.
Speaking at a press conference in Tallahassee, DeSantis acknowledged the storm’s potential impact on his campaign schedule, stating that he would do what was necessary in such situations. He referred to his past experience during Hurricane Ian, where he had to manage his campaign activities alongside handling the hurricane’s effects. While he did not specify the duration of the pause, DeSantis noted that he hoped the current storm would not be as catastrophic as Hurricane Ian, but emphasized the importance of addressing the situation.
Well, this is no different. You remember Ian, we were in the midst of a governor campaign.”
“I had all kinds of stuff scheduled, not just in Florida, around the country. You know, we were doing different things and, you know, you do what you need to do. I mean, and so that’s what we’re doing,” he continued. “It’s going to be no different than what we did during Hurricane Ian.”
“I’m hoping this storm is not as catastrophic as Hurricane Ian was, but we’re going to do what we need to do because it’s just something that’s important. But it’s no different than what we’ve done in past iterations of all this stuff,” he added.
As Hurricane Idalia threatened Florida’s Gulf Coast, DeSantis mentioned that a state of emergency had been declared in 46 of the state’s 67 counties. The hurricane’s anticipated landfall in Florida marked the first such event during this hurricane season, potentially compounding the state’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis has experienced a decrease in support for his presidential campaign over the past few weeks, as reflected in a recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll. His campaign’s popularity dropped from 23 percent in July to 12 percent, and a higher proportion of surveyed Republicans expressed uncertainty about their candidate preference (14 percent) compared to those supporting DeSantis.
In the face of this situation, DeSantis spoke about the need to prioritize public safety and well-being over political considerations. He emphasized that there was a time for political campaigns but also a time to address life-threatening situations. DeSantis emphasized the responsibility of Americans to come together to mitigate damage and protect lives.