President Joe Biden largely dismissed a request to define his "relationship" with Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday, characterizing the rumors of a possible feud as "totally irrelevant" to what's going in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
While speaking to reporters at FEMA headquarters, a media member asked the president about DeSantis — presumably since the leaders had been coordinating the response to Hurricane Ian bringing high winds, massive flooding, substantial property damage, and loss of life to those living in central Florida and along the Gulf Coast.
Biden's response to the query: "It's totally irrelevant, but I'll answer. OK. If I verified he complimented me. [DeSantis] thanked me for the immediate response we had. He told me how much he appreciated it, said he was extremely happy with what's going on. This is not about whether or not anything having to do with our disagreements politically. This is about saving people's lives, homes and businesses."
The president then added, "That's what this is about. And so I've been I've talked to him four or five times already, and it's not a matter of my disagreements with him on other items."
Earlier in the week, there were stories of President Biden contacting numerous local and state leaders in Florida, prior to Hurricane Ian reaching land — except for DeSantis.
There could have been a host of reasons for the delayed reach-out:
Biden recently criticized DeSantis for helping ship 50 illegal immigrants along the United States-Mexico border to the Massachusetts beach community of Martha's Vineyard — a logistical move supposedly executed to draw attention to the ongoing chaos at the southern border.
And after DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott flew the migrants to Martha's Vineyard — a popular destination for wealthy liberals living along the East Coast, which also trumpets its "sanctuary" city status — President Biden chided DeSantis publicly, saying he was "playing political games" with vulnerable humans.
Also, it's possible that DeSantis could win the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nomination, if former President Donald Trump chooses not to seek another White House run.
In that case, it could be DeSantis vs. Biden in the general election.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fielded more questions regarding the Biden-DeSantis dynamic.
She maintained the president has no qualms in working with DeSantis on important political matters.
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