Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist referred to Gov. Ron DeSantis as "DeSatan" during a campaign event in the spring.
Crist made his comment while speaking of the upcoming election "about decency" during a volunteer kick-off event hosted by Pinellas County Democrats in March.
"You know, some people call him 'DeSatan,' Have you heard that?" Crist said of DeSantis in video that has circulated online.
"DeSatan vs. that," he said as he pointed to a campaign sign with the words: "Crist for Governor."
One female attendee immediately said, "Christ," adding a letter to the candidate's name.
"Think about it. Boom," Crist said with a smile.
"The choice is crystal clear. There's no question about it. It is crystal clear: He's bad, we're good."
Crist said he was "fighting for freedom in Florida," just as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
"President Zelenskyy is amazing … and the courage and the strength, and the decency that he shows," Crist said. "This is an election about decency. About being decent to one another. About being kind to everyone. It's called a Florida for all. We got a divider on the other side and a uniter over here."
He then began his "DeSatan" attack on the governor.
DeSantis' campaign responded to the video by saying Crist was "delusional," the Washington Examiner reported.
"In just one minute, Charlie Crist compares himself to both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Jesus Christ," the campaign said. "Can you feel the UNITY?"
Christina Pushaw, DeSantis' campaign manager, tweeted: "Charlie Crist has claimed on multiple occasions to be like Jesus Christ and called his opponent 'DeSatan,' but I don't see the Miami Herald writing about that rhetoric or aggressive language."
It was reported last week that Crist said he was "so damn proud" of President Joe Biden for his controversial national address in Pennsylvania where he condemned "MAGA Republicans" as a threat to the republic.
"God love him. God love him, and I do," said Crist of Biden. "And he's told it straight. Democracy is at stake. ... Our freedoms are at stake. And the President laid it out, and he couldn't hold back, and I'm so damn proud of him for it."
RealClear Politics on Wednesday morning showed DeSantis leading Crist by 4 points.
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