Veteran Challenges Ron DeSantis After He Says He’ll Cut Federal Staff’s Throats


William Attig, a veteran who currently serves as Executive Director of an organization called Union Veterans Council, condemned Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis after the chief executive of that southeastern state, who is currently running for president, threatened to start “slitting throats” among federal employees if elected. Many federal employees are veterans, Attig and others noted.

The comments from the governor, who is waging a faltering campaign against Donald Trump and others for the presidential nomination for the 2024 general election from the Republican Party, mirror other rhetoric from Republicans against so-called deep state forces, which those espousing the idea allege to be groups of essentially hostile personnel within the rhetorical and literal halls of government who are covertly orchestrating its direction.

The Union Veterans Council identifies the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) among its affiliates. At that union, leadership also ripped DeSantis over his remarks.

“Our nation’s veterans have willingly risked their lives on the front lines of conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq,” Luttig said on Friday in prepared remarks. “They knew the risks of those missions but never expected they’d face threats of violence from candidates vying for the office of commander-in-chief. This type of language is entirely out of bounds and undermines the sacrifices and contributions made by our veterans who continue to serve the American people through our government.” Luttig and the organization that he helps lead also released a video message condemning DeSantis in which Luttig recounted the high portions of the workforce on key federal teams who are veterans and said he’d be interested in discussing this matter directly with Ron.

Some began to raise the prospect of DeSantis exiting the presidential race in the wake of his comments. Though his standing in most surveys has dropped, DeSantis has insisted he intends to participate in the first debate for the Republican presidential primary, which will be held this month. “Governor DeSantis’ threat to ‘start slitting throats’ of federal employees is dangerous, disgusting, disgraceful, and disqualifying,” Everett Kelley, national president at the AFGE, said.