Joe Biden pokes at Ron DeSantis after Florida criticism: ‘Governor who?’

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President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters after driving a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xe around the White House driveway following remarks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House 5 August 2021. (Getty Images)
President Joe Biden answers questions from reporters after driving a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Xe around the White House driveway following remarks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House 5 August 2021. (Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has poked fun at his potential Republican challenger in 2024, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis.

A reporter asked Mr Biden what he thought about comments Mr DeSantis made in response to the president’s criticism of Florida as new cases of Covid-19 increase.

“Governor who?” Mr Biden said with a grin and responding to laughs on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Mr Biden had criticized Mr DeSantis and Texas Gov Greg Abbott’s management of the pandemic, since Florida and Texas account for a third of all of the Covid-19 cases in the US

“If some governors aren't willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it,” Mr Biden said. “I say to these governors: please help. If you aren't going to help, please get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing.”

In response, Mr DeSantis, who is seen as a potential candidate for president in 2024, railed against Mr Biden, saying he didn’t “want to hear a blip about Covid" from the president until he “gets the border secure”.

“If you're coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I'm standing in your way. If you're trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I'm gonna stand in your way and stand up for the kids in Florida. If you're trying to restrict people and impose mandates and ruin their jobs and livelihood if you are trying to lock people down, I am standing in your way,” he said. “I am standing for the people of Florida.”

As of Thursday, 12,516 people were hospitalized for Covid-19, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

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