Florida Republican tells people not to 'monkey this up' by voting for his black opponent

Florida Republican tells people not to 'monkey this up' by voting for his black opponent

A Republican nominee for governor is being criticised after he warned voters not to ‘monkey up’ the election by choosing Democrat rep Andrew Gillum, his African-American opponent.

Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News and said:

The last thing we need to do is monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.

"He is an articulate spokesmen for those far-left views," he added.

The Florida GOP was immediately accused of racism. The Florida Democrat party chairwoman, Terrie Rizzo called his comments "disgusting":

It’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles.

Gillum’s spokesperson Geoff Burgan added that "DeSantis’ comments speak for themselves".

People online also accused the politician of racism.

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".

He said:

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.

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