Massie Praises DeSantis For Resisting COVID Lockdowns, Gun Control
Governor Ron DeSantis hit the campaign trail with Congressman Thomas Massie on Saturday, receiving high praise from the Kentucky Republican for his record on COVID and Second Amendment issues. Massie is one of several Republicans joining DeSantis in Iowa this month, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
Standing before a large crowd at a shooting range in Johnston, Iowa, Massie reflected on the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020. At the time, Massie had been the only member of Congress to vote against the $2 trillion CARES Act, for which he was called a “third rate grandstander” by then-President Donald Trump. Looking at Governor DeSantis, Massie told the audience,
“This was the only guy who called me to offer support. He said, ‘You know what, it’s wrong, and we can’t shut our economies down. We can’t deny our kids an education. I know the polling is against me in Florida, but I am going to do the right thing cause in two years people will know it’s the right thing.’”
Massie added, “And I said, ‘man, I hope this guy runs for president some day.’”
We ended today with a bang at the gun range! There’s a lot of enthusiasm here on the ground in Iowa for Desantis, the most pro-2A candidate in the race for President. Ron and I took questions from the crowd for an hour. pic.twitter.com/CDzocMqO4L
— Thomas Massie for Congress (@MassieforKY) December 17, 2023
Massie then went on to reference the responses of the rest of the GOP field, calling them “disqualified for service” over their responses to the COVID pandemic.
“There’s one presidential candidate who was responsible for perpetuating some of this tyranny…Then there’s some candidates and we don’t know where they were when COVID happened! All of those people Constitutionally are disqualified for service,”
The Kentucky Congressman referred to DeSantis as “the only guy who was fighting when it could have cost him his position.”
The Florida Governor replied by calling for a “reckoning” over the lockdowns.
“Looking forward, we need a reckoning for what happened in this country. We need to hold these agencies accountable, Fauci… I’m the only one running that will do that. I’m the only one who even talks about doing that! The rest want nothing to do with it. They do not want to upset […] their buddies in some of these industries.”
The two Republicans previously worked together during DeSantis’ tenure in the U.S. House from 2013 to 2018. Massie was an early supporter of DeSantis’ Presidential bid, offering his endorsement in April–before the campaign’s official launch. At Saturday’s town hall in Johnston, Massie said DeSantis “Will be the most pro-Second Amendment president we have had in 100 years, bar none.”
— Jo Thomas (@rthomas86) December 17, 2023
Massie’s appearance with DeSantis also provoked a response from former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign. Taking a shot at the Kentucky Congressman, a spokesman from Haley’s camp referred to him as “the most anti-Israel Republican in the entire GOP,” according to a report by Florida Politics. The campaign referenced Massie’s vote in the U.S. House last week against a resolution condemning antisemitism on college campuses.
“Ron DeSantis needs to explain to Iowa voters why he is palling around with an anti-Israel congressman who votes to undermine Israel and foster antisemitism,” said Haley spokesperson Nachama Soloveichik. “Iowans deserve to know what Ron DeSantis really believes.”
In October, DeSantis ordered a crackdown against pro-Hamas student groups under the Florida University system, following a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.
“You have a right to go out and demonstrate, but you can’t provide material support to terrorism. They’ve linked themselves to Hamas … it’s not a first amendment issue. That’s a material support to terrorism issue,” DeSantis said at the time.
“Once you hitched your wagon to a group like Hamas, that takes you out of the realm of normal activity, and that’s something that we’re going to take action against. So we believe we’re totally justified within the law.”
Other stories you may want to read:
- DeSantis Campaigns in South Carolina for Congress Term Limits Amendment - February 21, 2024
- Gaetz Shoots Down Rumors, Says ‘No Plans’ to Run for Governor - February 20, 2024
- DeSantis Says Haley Has ‘Poisoned the Well’ By Courting Liberal Voters - February 19, 2024