Ron DeSantis has ‘NO PLANS’ to meet Biden in Florida to assess the Hurricane Idalia devastation in White House snub – after the president said they would
The apparent snub comes even as Floridans are seeking federal infusions worth billions to recover from Hurricane Idalia.
A DeSantis spokesman said DeSantis, who is a top Republican presidential contender, has ‘no plans’ to meet Biden.
That comes despite the president responding ‘yes’ when asked Friday if he planned to meet with DeSantis, who has seen his poll numbers decline but is still running second to former President Donald Trump in GOP presidential polling.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ‘no plans’ to meet President Biden, who is visiting Florida Saturday afternoon
‘We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,’ said spokesman Jeremy Redfern.
‘In these rural communities, and so soon, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.’
He made the comment to NBC just as the White House was making preparations for a trip.
Biden has made multiple phone calls to DeSantis, and the White House has staged regular briefings by security officials.
Biden himself often cites the security footprint issue when weighing visits – including his chaotic visit to tour wildfire damage in Hawaii. But with Biden going, there will already be a substantial Secret Service and security presence in place.
Idalia made landfall Wednesday near Keaton Beach with winds of about 125 mph and a six-foot storm surge.
The scale of the damage was becoming clear on Friday. Some 28,000 residents were told they could be without power for two weeks after the storm brought down powerlines and left a trail of destruction.
But it could have been worse. It took a late turn away from the state capital Tallahassee, and its population of 200,000 people.
Instead it hit less populated coastal regions.
Even so, in Florida UBS bank estimated that insurance claims would amount to about $10 billion.
Other estimates suggested the final cost could be more than $20 billion in Florida alone.