Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a press conference in Fort Walton Beach on June 9, 2022. Credit: Screenshot/Florida Channel
Amid a nationwide focus on gun violence and a recent alleged assassination attempt on a U.S. Supreme Court judge, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that there are some so-called “lunatics” who lack a “religious foundation” or any type of “relationship with God,” at a Thursday press conference.
During the event in Fort Walton Beach, where DeSantis first praised Florida veterans and discussed the newest Top Gun movie that he hasn’t seen yet, DeSantis commented about an alleged assassination attempt on U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh the day before.
“I want to say that if you look at some of the things going on in this country — they have some lunatic that was trying to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh,” DeSantis said, “And this is something that’s very, very troubling, because you got a lot of people who whip this up.”
DeSantis went on to talk about politics being used as a stand-in for religion.
“And so, you’re doing that and I think there’s a lot of really, really crazy people out there, unfortunately, that really get consumed with ideology,” he said. “These are people that don’t really have, I think, a religious foundation or any type of, of, of relationship with God, and so they turn to radical politics as kind of what they’re going to do.”
CNN reported Thursday that the suspect in the alleged assassination attempt was “upset about the leak of the Supreme Court opinion related to abortion rights, an upcoming gun control case, and the school shooting last month in Uvalde, Texas,” and that FBI agents said the suspect was thinking about “how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice.”
DeSantis continued on the Kavanaugh alleged assassination attempt and politically motivated attacks, particularly those who seem to support progressive politics, for several minutes.
He referenced a 2017 congressional baseball practice, where a 66-year-old shooter opened fire, critically injuring Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and hurting several others, according to a CNN report from 2017.
“So I saw, when I was in Congress, when we had a Bernie Sanders supporter shoot up the baseball practice, for the congressional baseball, and that was a definitely an attempted assassinate — shot Steve Scalise, some other people. But, you know, he was trying to assassinate Republican members of Congress. That was what his intention was — he was doing it for political purposes.”
“And so you have this, this, this guy yesterday was saying he wanted to go and kill Kavanaugh because he was concerned about court decisions that may be rendered. So, he’s trying to change the operation of one branch of our government through political assassination. And so, they’ve arrested him and he needs to be brought to justice.”
Kavanaugh has been a controversial figure since he was nominated by President Donald Trump in 2018, when Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her while in high school. That allegation loomed over much of his confirmation process to the U.S. Supreme Court and remains a point of contention for some Americans.
In addition, the recent draft opinion leak, written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, in a Mississippi abortion case indicates that the high court is poised to overturn the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nearly 50 years ago. If that happens, states would determine abortion law.
Protesters have gathered in front of certain justices’ houses in hopes of preserving abortion access, leading to concern about the justices’ safety and sparking debate on whether protesters should or should not be able to protest at officials’ houses.
DeSantis claimed that there has not been enough push-back against the alleged assassination attempt by the news media, even though national outlets including CNN, Fox News, and the Washington Post have reported about the situation.
“But you know, the silence is deafening from a lot of our media outlets on this. They do not want to talk about it, honestly. I mean, a lot of them have some really screwed up priorities, as we see almost every day,” he said.
“But I can only imagine if the shoe was reversed. I mean, they would be going berserk if you had some Trump supporter doing anything even approaching to that. So, I think it’s important for everybody across the political spectrum just to say, ‘You know, there’s no, there’s no place for that type of behavior in American Society.'”
He added: “And so, I’d like to hear more people condemn that, because I really haven’t heard, I think, sufficient amount of response given really the gravity of what was what was attempted. It wasn’t just violating law, which is significant. It wasn’t even just the fact that this guy was looking to murder someone, which is very serious.
“But that was being done in service of really changing outcomes in the judicial branch of government and that’s really, really problematic. And so, I hope they throw the book at this guy.”
He said that he hoped federal officials would do more to protect the justices, saying that the suspect seemed “really off his rocker but you could have somebody that would succeed in this,” meaning successfully carry out an assassination.
“So, I hope that the attorney general will do more and I hope that Congress will pass some more security for these folks because it’s clearly — we’re in a new era with some of the stuff that’s going on,” he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House is delaying consideration of a bill to enhance security protections for Supreme Court justices and their families, Politico reports.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that protections for the justices are “in the works” and that “nobody is in danger over the weekend because of our not having a bill.”
That did not go over well for U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who tweeted Thursday: “Speaker Pelosi has been sitting on this bill for a month and today claimed ‘nobody is in danger.’
“She should tell that to the Kavanaugh family,” the Twitter post says.
The tweet includes a video of McCarthy urging Pelosi to consider the bill sooner, often raising his voice on the matter.
“How many times do they [the justices] have to be threatened? How many people have to be arrested with a gun outside their home?” he rhetorically asked on the House floor Thursday.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.