Will DeSantis run for president? The candidate I saw during the Florida debate is worrisome.

If there have been a recipe to make one other Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis it would go one thing like this: Seize some playground bully off the shelf with a heaping teaspoon of science denial, a swig of race-baiting and a lump of LGBTQ bigotry for good measure.

If it sounds nasty, that is as a result of it’s (recipe and politics).

As a former Floridian who visits as typically as attainable, and since I’ve shut household that nonetheless lives there, I care deeply about what goes on within the Sunshine State and fear about the place DeSantis is heading politically.

Not everybody agrees with me. Through the first and solely gubernatorial debate with former Republican Gov. and now Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist on Monday night time in Fort Pierce, DeSantis received a regarding quantity of applause for his hateful, deceptive and divisive feedback. Earlier than the talk, DeSantis was additionally main within the polls and has proved to be well-liked in Florida.

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After the talk, he went again to being favored to be a GOP candidate operating in opposition to former President Donald Trump (ought to he run) within the 2024 presidential election. It is with that in thoughts that I am writing in regards to the debate. What sort of candidate would DeSantis be for the 2024 marketing campaign? And, God forbid, what sort of president?

The controversy was window into that.

Crist and DeSantis at gubernatorial debate

What DeSantis mentioned through the debate

I did not ever think about myself saying this as a result of I’m an atheist, however as I watched Monday night time’s debate, I discovered myself praying Crist turns into governor once more. Irrespective of how a lot I dislike millionaires moving into politics, DeSantis’ far proper ideology makes me nervous. However how will extra centric and impartial voters really feel about his rhetoric?

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DeSantis made some actually troubling feedback through the debate. He additionally has a document of troubling, bigoted management that has no place in 2022 America, or 2024:

►When requested by native information anchor Liz Quirantes about his “Cease WOKE” Act and his Florida Parental Rights in Training Act – which critics have known as the “Do not Say Homosexual” legislation as a result of it bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification for college students in kindergarten by third grade – DeSantis went on a tangent dog-whistling about conserving Florida free. He additionally stooped to his ordinary race baiting saying, “I do not need to educate children to hate our nation,” and claimed that it was false that the US was constructed on “stolen lands.”

►DeSantis proudly rebuked science claiming {that a} 15-week-old fetus is “absolutely shaped” (it is not), and his abortion legislation makes zero exceptions for rape and incest, although 86% of Individuals imagine that there needs to be. The governor additionally touted his rejection of well being specialists’ recommendation through the worst months of COVID-19 by insisting that he needed to maintain Florida’s tourism trade open, (he additionally banned school-mask mandates).

►He disparaged LGBTQ teenagers and their households looking for gender-affirming care, calling it “genital mutilation” and evaluating it to a tattoo.

Let’s depend: Precisely how many individuals does Dr. Oz need concerned in an abortion determination?

DeSantis is not mature sufficient to be governor or president

DeSantis, like others in his get together, appears to be unable to understand that he’s (and can be if elected) the governor of all Floridians, not simply those who agree with him. However his radical positions ship progressives, average Democrats and even independents operating in the wrong way.

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That will not cease if he decides to run for president.

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DeSantis’ incapability to reply Crist’s query about whether or not he would serve the complete time period, if elected, made it painfully clear that he does not care about being governor – he desires to be president. Moderately than answering the query truthfully, he mumbled one thing after which reverted to his interior playground bully by calling Crist a “worn-out outdated donkey.” A “yo mamma” joke would in all probability have had the identical impact: Rally the bottom; make everybody else cringe.

DeSantis does not actually need to be governor for for much longer and he does not need to hearken to American voters – he desires to be president so he can push his radical agenda from the White Home.

Carli Pierson, a New York licensed legal professional, is an opinion author and a member of the USA TODAY Editorial Board. Comply with her on Twitter: @CarliPiersonEsq

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This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: DeSantis operating in 2024? Debate reveals what sort of president he’d be