NewsNationalDemocracy 2018

Actions

DeSantis campaign under fire for 'Andrew Kill'em' comment made at Cape Coral rally

Posted: 9:04 AM, Oct 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-08 13:04:44Z

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – A Ron DeSantis campaign stop in Cape Coral over the weekend has sparked the newest controversy in the governor's race.

Democrats are calling on DeSantis to condemn part of a speech they call racist.

They're talking about something U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz said at the event.  He spoke before DeSantis, and in criticizing Andrew Gillum's record on crime in Tallahassee, he said this.

"If you want to look at Andrew Gillum’s strategy, look no further than Tallahassee. In Tallahassee they’re in the top 10 in every major crime category in the state.  They’re the murder capital of Florida. I don’t know whether to call him Andrew Gillum or Andrew Kill'em," said Gaetz. 

Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Chris King called that comment, "propaganda used to fear monger and gin up" the Republican base.

The Florida Democratic Party chairwoman called it a "racist and despicable attack."

DeSantis hasn't commented, but Gaetz said Democrats can't defend Gillum, so they blame other people.

FBI numbers do not list Tallahassee in the top 10 for murders in Florida.

Last month, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil released this statement about Tallahassee crime.  "Under Mayor Andrew Gillum's leadership, violent crime is down 24 percent, and overall crime is down 10 percent with crime at a five-year low in Tallahassee."