Fox News conservative commentator Sean Hannity, Rep. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz capped off a three-city, one-day tour of Florida, Pensacola on Monday evening.
The Pensacola event was billed as a “meet and greet” but had every appearance of a campaign rally for DeSantis as several hundred turned out to New World Landing in downtown Pensacola to listen to Hannity speak.
Hannity praised Gaetz and DeSantis and said the 2018 election was “the most important mid-term election of our lifetime.”
“We need these guys in office for us,” Hannity said pointing to DeSantis and Gaetz.
DeSantis is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, and running against the other top contender for the job, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
The first stop on Hannity’s tour was in Fort Myers on Monday morning followed by an afternoon stop in Tampa before the trio appeared in Pensacola.
The tour comes after the Fox News Channel broadcast a Republican debate between DeSantis and Putnam on Thursday.
DeSantis told the crowd the debate highlighted the contrast between him and Putnam.
“He is the choice of the insider class in Tallahassee — the good ol’ boy network,” DeSantis said.
Reversing rolls from the last joint Gaetz-DeSantis rally in Pensacola in early Junewhere Gaetz was the one to go after Putnam, this time DeSantis was the one to criticize Putnam, blaming him for Florida’s lack of a mandatory federal e-verify participation to check the immigration status of new employees.
DeSantis also hit Putnam’s record while in Congress criticizing his votes on the No Child Left Behind bill and the 2008 Wall Street bailout.
“Putnam’s got special interest buddies that poured money into a shadowy PAC, and then they’ve run $5 million worth of ads to attack me with all fake news, nonstop, fake news, fake news,” DeSantis said.
“I care more about what’s going on in Ruskin, Florida, with congestion and infrastructure and the quality of our water, than I care about Russia,” Putnam said in the release. “And I care more about the other St. Petersburg — St. Petersburg, Florida. The Florida First Agenda is going to put vocational and technical training back into our schools.”
Gaetz, while thanking Hannity for the platform to appear on his show so many times, pushed back on his Republican opponent Cris Dosev’s criticism that Gaetz makes too many TV appearances.
“I figured out that to represent you, my constituents, I wasn’t going to stand around talking to an empty room in the halls of Congress,” Gaetz said. “I was going to try to motivate the American people to take this country back. If you will send me back to Congress I’ll keep going on television, and I will be the liberals’ worst nightmare.”
Both Gaetz and DeSantis have been regulars on Hannity’s nightly Fox News show to criticize the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
“Listen, I’m pretty disappointed with a lot of Republicans, I’ll be honest,” Hannity said. “There are a lot of RHINOs, yes. The Freedom Caucus is literally the lifeblood of what is making Congress work today, and they’re (DeSantis and Gaetz) in the heart of it.”
Originally posted here.