Alexander Vindman Taunts Ron DeSantis For Being A ‘Coward’


Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman weighed in on the Florida governor’s race this weekend after the news emerged that incumbent Republican Governor Ron DeSantis evidently wouldn’t participate in a key, long-running debate that this year would pit him against his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist.

Samantha Ramirez, who does communications for the Crist team, called the “Before You Vote” debate, in which DeSantis declined to participate, “Florida’s longest running, non-partisan debate series,” explaining it’s “the ONLY debate that would be broadcast statewide.” Vindman added as follows: “[Ron DeSantis] is a coward. If he doesn’t have the courage to debate [Charlie Crist], what business does he have as Governor? And this guy wants to run for President in 2024. Don’t be scared Ron.” DeSantis hasn’t formally indicated he will run for president, but he is widely considered a potential contender, and his standing in polls suggests he would likely quickly dominate the Republican presidential primary field if Trump sits out the race for some reason. DeSantis already leads Trump in certain Republican presidential primary polling pitting the two against each other in Florida.

As for the debates, DeSantis evidently will participate in another debate with a more limited reach. The debate is set for October 12, and CBS 12 (a CBS affiliate in the Palm Beach area) will host it. Per Florida Politics, the “Before You Vote” debate, in which DeSantis reportedly won’t participate, is planned for ten broadcast partners across Florida. Ramirez noted that key organizations involved in the “Before You Vote” debate are essentially on DeSantis’s side. “DeSantis has no excuse,” she explained Saturday. “The debate sponsors actually favor DeSantis. The conservative James Madison Institute, the Florida Realtors (who endorsed DeSantis last week), and the Everglades Foundation (endorsed him in ’18). Now you know, Florida. Ron is only tough when he’s dressing up like a fighter pilot for his latest ad.” Individuals on Twitter tried to use DeSantis’s reported participation in the CBS 12 debate as a “Gotcha!” moment proving concerns about DeSantis’s participation in debates were unfounded or deceptive, but the debates are two different events — one with an evidently significantly more limited reach.

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