Biden Visits Florida, But Not DeSantis

FL Gov. Ron DeSantis bucked an offer from President Biden to meet in Florida following Hurricane Idalia because security protections would shut down recovery efforts.

Here’s Why

Biden told CNN on Friday that he had plans to meet with the governor during his trip to the state over the weekend, but that’s not the case.

“We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,” DeSantis Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern said in a statement. “In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”

Earlier in the week, Biden said that in his talks with DeSantis about the hurricane, there was never any mention of politics.

During Bidfen’s visit, the president and first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will board Marine One for an aerial tour of impacted areas, participate in a response and recovery briefing with federal personnel, local officials, and first responders, then tour an affected community before delivering remarks in Live Oak, Florida. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican, and other local officials will participate in parts of the visit, a White House official said.

On Saturday, FEMA administrator Deanna Criswell said that Biden had contacted DeSantis to inform him of the visit.

“When the president contacted the governor to let him know he was going to be visiting … the governor’s team and my team, mutually agreed on a place that would have minimal impact into operations,” Criswell said on CNN This Morning. “Live Oak, you know, the power is being restored. The roads aren’t blocked, but there’s families that are hurting there,” she said.

A presidential visit anywhere requires a significant security footprint, and DeSantis suggested to reporters earlier Friday that he had raised concerns about that level of disruption as response efforts continue.

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