Florida Governor Ron DeSantis found himself in a lively exchange with Bill Maher during a recent interview on “Real Time.” Maher raised the issue of DeSantis campaigning for some Republicans who were labeled “election deniers” for questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
DeSantis was quick to defend his actions, pointing out that Kari Lake, one of the candidates in question, had turned against him despite previous support. He also clarified that Lake’s accusations about vaccine mandates in Florida were false. His motivation, he explained, was to support Republicans in crucial races, making winning these contests a priority for him.
Maher, not satisfied with the response, pressed further, asking whether supporting candidates who questioned the legitimacy of elections was not a concern for the governor, especially considering its implications for democracy. DeSantis countered by drawing attention to similar behavior by Democrats in the past.
He cited instances where Hollywood figures had funded ads urging members of the Electoral College to vote against Donald Trump in 2016, alleging that Russia had stolen the election. This, he argued, demonstrated that contesting election results was not a novel development in American politics.
DeSantis’s response highlighted the complexities of political alliances and the challenges of navigating a polarized political landscape. It also underscored how both major political parties have, at various times, questioned the legitimacy of elections, revealing the deep divisions within American democracy.