Left-wing opponents of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could not contain themselves on social media in response to a photo of the popular Republican throwing out a pitch at a little league baseball game on Friday.
“Honored to throw out the first pitch at the 2021 Little League Baseball State Tournament in Palm Coast. Good luck to all the teams playing this weekend, and thanks to the coaches, volunteers, and families for your dedication to providing opportunities for our youth,” DeSantis wrote in a Twitter post containing the photo.
Honored to throw out the first pitch at the 2021 Little League Baseball State Tournament in Palm Coast. Good luck to all the teams playing this weekend, and thanks to the coaches, volunteers, and families for your dedication to providing opportunities for our youth. pic.twitter.com/8oYVIsjzhN
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 16, 2021
Many critics responded with wild and often inaccurate claims about his response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
One Twitter user responded with what appears to be a screenshot of a media report with the headline, “Florida Man Leads His State to the Morgue,” along with a Getty image of DeSantis.
— Enough is Enough, bring on more indictments. (@larryja15215455) July 16, 2021
“Nice job, Guv 8225 new cases today, 7011 yesterday, 6425 Wednesday, 5095 Tues, And positivity doubled in a week. This will lead to yet another variant that can elude vax,” wrote another.
Nice job , Guv
8225 new cases today
And positivity doubled in a week
— Cathy (@CathyNotToday) July 16, 2021
“Come to St Pete and enjoy the foul dead fish smell,” another user snarked.
“With hundreds of unmasked kids & almost 20% of new cases reported in children… SMH … SMH … SMH,” wrote another.
“When are you going to discuss the skyrocketing number of cases of COVID-19 in Florida?” asked another user.
Here are some additional responses:
— “1 in 5 deaths from covid were in FL. Get back to work and prioritize vaccinations in our state to protect our young children under 12 and immunocompromised constituents.”
— “Maybe you be honored to controlling COVID in your state. do your damn job.”
— “You should be worried about your states COVID numbers of the unvaccinated instead of baseball and going to Texas.”
— “Now he found something his speed… Little League Baseball. [Trophy emoji] for everyone.”
— “Throwing out the first virus.”
DeSantis has grown increasingly popular with ‘America First’ conservatives who also support former President Donald Trump. In recent polling, he consistently ranks at the top of 2024 GOP presidential nominee polls under Trump, though in one outlier survey conducted among a few hundred participants at the Western Conservative Summit last month in Denver, the Florida governor actually out-polled the former president.
But the Sunshine State governor is currently committed to being reelected next year and has not at all given any indication he wants to seek the 2024 GOP nom. For that matter, neither has Trump; he has consistently teased the notion but has yet to say unequivocally he’s in. Several of Trump’s surrogates have said he is waiting to see the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections before making his decision; presumably, a flip of the House or the Senate, or both, back to Republican control would likely push him more towards another run.
However, if Trump doesn’t throw his hat in the ring in 2024, it’s likely he won’t ever run again: Trump will be 78 in 2024 and 82 in 2028, the next presidential cycle, the latter of which may be a better fit for DeSantis, especially if the ‘America First’ movement endures.
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