Rep. Ron DeSantis’s campaign spent the morning after he won the primary for Florida governor denying that DeSantis had made racist comments about his opponent on television. Democrat Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, is black, so it was bad enough that, in an interview with Fox News, DeSantis first described Gillum using the racially loaded sounds-like-praise-but-isn’t descriptor “articulate.” But DeSantis wasn’t done, saying:
Let’s build off the success we’ve had under Gov. [Rick] Scott. The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.
Nudge, nudge, wink. Let’s not monkey this up if you catch my drift, there.
Subtle. So subtle, these people. DeSantis’s campaign insists that he was just talking about socialism, and “to characterize it as anything else is absurd.” DeSantis got “articulate” and “monkey” into the same 30 seconds, but no, nothing racist going on there, just ignore all those dogs that simultaneously woke up and started howling.
Given how fast DeSantis got started down this path, this campaign may require a “days since last racist dog whistle” calendar, and the count may never get past two.