Mainstream media to DeSantis: OMG, you said 'monkey it up'

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But back in the first year of the aughts, the presidential election came down to sunny little Florida, and a tiny piece of paper stood in the way of George W. Bush becoming president-for a short time.

DeSantis, who won the Republican nomination by almost 20 percentage points this week thanks in part to the endorsement of President Donald Trump, will face off against Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum - who was the upset victor in the Democratic Party primary and became the first African-American to be a major party nominee for the state's top office.

Gov. Rick Scott also defended DeSantis after an unrelated press conference in Tampa on Thursday.

"The last thing, the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state", DeSantis said. That is not going to work.

Andrew Gillum would become Florida's first African American governor if elected in November.

So what exactly is dog whistle? "That was absolutely a racist, disgusting statement", U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., said in a phone conference with reporters.

"I think it's really sad to make those assumptions about a phrase like that", answered MacCallum.

It is uncertain whether this comment by DeSantis will harm his chances of winning.

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"Radical Far-Left Democrat Andrew Gillum's entire political career has been tainted by corruption", said Thompson. "To characterize it as anything else is absurd", Lawson said by email. He called Gillum a "failed socialist mayor" who has "allowed crime and many other problems to flourish in the city".

Their message comes a day after DeSantis' controversial words were used to discuss Gillum's policies during a live television interview on Fox News.

Gillum is a black man. DeSantis is white.

A remarkably low percentage of voters, just 9 percent, told PPP pollsters that they were unsure, an early indication of how clear the differences already are, and likely will continue to be, between the two major gubernatorial candidates.

But the risk for DeSantis is that Trump is a polarizing figure, meaning the president's support for the GOP candidate might also energize Gillum's supporters.

Florida's Democratic nominee for governor says the state is looking for a leader who will bring people together, "not misogynist, not racist, not bigots".

As for crime flourishing in Tallahassee, we went through the records kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

Gillum has embraced liberal policies, such as a "Medicare-for-all" health-care system, but he has not identified as a socialist. I mean, according to the polls, he wasn't going to win. "So thank you, Mr. President", said Desantis. Gillum in his remarks to supporters on election night said he and supporters would seek to counter the "dark days that we've been under coming out of Washington".