Gillum later responded to the campaign himself and told NBC News:
We're better than this in Florida. I believe the congressman can be better than this. I regret that his mentor in politics is Donald Trump, but I do believe that voters of the state of Florida are going to reject the politics of division.
A rep for DeSantis said that there wasn’t any racial connotations to the term "monkey it up".
Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterise it as anything else is absurd.
Fox News anchor Sandra Smith later released a statement about it.
We do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware that he has since clarified his statement.