Ron DeSantis Under Fire For Telling People Not To ‘Monkey This Up’ By Electing Black Challenger Andrew Gillum

John Raoux / AP Images

Tuesday night brought a big primary in the state of Florida and now the slate for November’s election is set. Trump-backed Republican candidate Ron DeSantis will be facing off against progressive Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum and this is going to be an intense battle. The gloves are already coming off, as DeSantis made a comment in talking about his opponent that is going viral across social media.

As the Talking Points Memo details, Ron DeSantis appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss his primary win and his battle for the governor’s seat. President Donald Trump tweeted positively about DeSantis Wednesday morning, and that prompted the Fox News correspondent to ask DeSantis how he plans to beat Andrew Gillum.

The Republican started out by saying that Florida elections are always competitive, and he said that Gillum is “much too liberal” for Florida. DeSantis added that his Democratic opponent is articulate and charismatic, but he has “huge problems” with how he’s governed Tallahassee. The GOP candidate continued by saying that it’s important for Florida to keep going in the direction it’s going, building off the success of Governor Scott.

It’s at that point that DeSantis said the phrase that has many people up in arms. The Republican gubernatorial candidate said that they had to make sure not to “monkey this up” by electing his opponent who has a “socialist agenda.”

DeSantis’ quip about not monkeying up this election, when he is facing a black candidate, did not go unnoticed by people on social media. As USA Today details, Gillum would become Florida’s first black governor if he wins in November. His win on Tuesday in the primary stunned many, as Congresswoman Gwen Graham had been favored to win. Gillum had been rising in the polls in recent weeks, and social media exploded when the race was called in his favor.

This particular gubernatorial race is expected to be intense and will be on everybody’s radar, and both DeSantis and Gillum will be fighting hard to win. While DeSantis has the support of President Trump and the Republican base, Gillum is garnering a lot of fierce support as well. Graham took to Twitter after her loss to support him, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is a big supporter of the Democratic candidate as well.

So far, neither Republican Ron DeSantis or Andrew Gillum is addressing the quip the GOP candidate made Wednesday morning on Fox News about not monkeying things up by electing his black, Democratic opponent. Twitter, however, has taken notice at the phrasing used and many will be interested to see if this has any impact on the polling or support either candidate receives heading into November’s election.