Florida Governor Ron DeSantis received criticism from both sides of the political spectrum after sharing a controversial Twitter video that questioned former President Donald Trump’s stance on LGBTQIA+ issues. The video, released at the end of Pride Month, was labeled as “undeniably homophobic” by Ric Grenell, Trump’s former Ambassador to Germany. Karl Rove, a former top aide to President George W. Bush, criticized DeSantis’ decision, calling it an “unforced error,” and advised against getting involved in such controversies. While acknowledging DeSantis’ popularity among conservatives, Rove expressed concern about the ad’s perceived attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
DeSantis’ Polarizing Video:
DeSantis’ campaign team shared a Twitter video created by another user, which targeted Trump’s positions on LGBTQ+ issues. The video raised questions about Trump’s relationship with Caitlyn Jenner, his merchandising efforts during Pride Month, and his 2016 pledge to protect LGBTQ+ citizens. The campaign tweeted the video as a way to commemorate the end of Pride Month, crediting DeSantis as the politician who did the most to celebrate it.
Rove’s Criticism and Advice:
Karl Rove voiced his confusion regarding DeSantis’ decision to engage in controversy, noting that it contradicted the conservative values DeSantis had championed. Rove highlighted DeSantis’ signing of a law banning biological males from participating in women’s sports and his positions on gender discussions and sex education in schools. However, he believed that the ad gave the impression that DeSantis was attacking the LGBTQ+ community, describing it as an “unforced error.” Rove advised DeSantis to focus on positively promoting his own conservative values instead.
Responses and Opposition:
Former Ambassador Ric Grenell condemned the video as homophobic, prompting a response from DeSantis’ campaign spokeswoman, Christina Pushaw. Pushaw argued that opposing federal recognition of Pride Month was not inherently homophobic and criticized identity politics. Additionally, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie criticized the ongoing feud between DeSantis and Trump, describing it as a pointless conflict that leaders should avoid.
Rove’s Assessment of the Situation:
Karl Rove believed that the formulation of the video by DeSantis’ campaign was a mistake, suggesting that they could have highlighted his achievements in a way that garnered appreciation. Rove pointed out Trump’s previous attacks on DeSantis and considered the video ill-conceived. He also referenced Trump’s criticism of himself and other prominent Republicans, underscoring the continuing feud between Trump and the party establishment.
The release of Governor Ron DeSantis’ controversial video critiquing Trump’s LGBTQ+ positions sparked criticism from Ric Grenell and led Karl Rove to label it as an “unforced error.” Rove advised DeSantis to focus on promoting his conservative values in a positive manner rather than getting embroiled in controversies. The ongoing clash between DeSantis and Trump remains a topic of discussion within the Republican Party as they navigate their future direction.
Read Next: “A Closer Look at the Republican Party’s Internal Dynamics Amidst the DeSantis-Trump Feud”