DeSantis trashes press association, says no thanks to a Twitter move to Florida

‘The idea that I would have ever gone is false’

By: - May 2, 2022 1:38 pm

Comedian Trevor Noah roasts Gov. Ron DeSantis during the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington on April 30, 2022. Source: Screenshot/CSPAN

Gov. Ron DeSantis put the kibosh Monday on talk of luring Twitter Inc. to Florida after Elon Musk takes control of the company — presuming the deal goes through.

He also commented on a Twitter tweet by David Smiley, D.C. editor for the Miami Herald, that his name appeared on a program for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend at attending the event.

“I would never attend that. I have no interest in that. I did not watch it. I don’t care what they do,” the governor said.

“But for them to advertise me when that invitation was rejected by my office — that is a lie,” he continued.

Gov. Ron DeSantis discusses manatee protection during a news conference in Jacksonville on May 2, 2022. Source: Screeshot/DeSantis Facebook

“And so, here they are, saying how important they are, that they are somehow these paragons of truth, and yet there they are lying about something that is readily verifiable. And so, the idea that I was there is false. The idea that I would have ever gone is false. And why they would want to try to perpetuate a lie about that, I don’t know.

“But I think it just shows you why that cabal of people in D.C., New York, are so reviled by so many Americans. I think it’s a reputation that’s been well deserved,” DeSantis said.

Trevor Noah of The Daily Show, the featured speaker at the event, even appeared to believe that the governor was in the room while joking that DeSantis is trying to undermine a Donald Trump run for reelection in two years.

“Trump said he won the election, but everyone was just able to look at the numbers and see that he was wrong. That’s why Ron DeSantis is one step ahead. First, you ban the math textbooks, then nobody knows how to count the votes,” Noah said.

Y’all come

Regarding a Twitter move, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis promoted the idea via his Twitter account on Friday:

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Credit: Florida Department of Financial Services

“Join me in inviting @elonmusk to move @Twitter to the freest state in the nation! Florida would benefit the company as a whole — we have no state income tax and the perfect business climate. It’s time to book a one way ticket.”

Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has signaled he would be more lenient atop Twitter regarding free speech. That led DeSantis to welcome a Musk takeover, having a long record of criticizing social media platforms from deplatforming conservatives like former President Trump for spreading disinformation, including about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The state passed a law in 2021 to attempt to punish plaforms that do that, but it has been held up in court.

But, asked during a news conference in Jacksonville about a move, DeSantis response was: No thanks.

“Importing some tech company from San Francisco has not been high on our list,” the governor said.

“I think that what happens is, they’ll tend to come in, they drive up the cost of living for everybody else. And, okay, yeah, they enjoy our lower taxes but what are they really providing?

“So, I’m really supportive of what Elon Musk is doing, because I think that that platform has been used really as a tool to enforce narratives and to stifle dissent when it was born to be an open platform.”

DeSantis noted that Florida’s State Board of Administration, which oversees the state worker pension fund, wrote to the Twitter board warning not to turn down a deal that would benefit shareholders including the pension fund. DeSantis, along with Attorney General Ashley Moody and Patronis, oversee the agency. All three are Republicans.

“The fact of the matter is, this is a guy that has succeeded in almost every enterprise he’s ever done. And so, our state will benefit; we will get, I think, a $15-$20 million profit in our pension fund. But then, he will make that company more valuable, no doubt about it,” DeSantis said.

“But I’m not wanting to import that necessarily into the state of Florida. You, know, I would rather have more industry, I’d rather have more jobs that will actually be rooted in this state.”

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.

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