BOCA RATON, Fla. – Democrat Andrew Gillum on Thursday mocked the performance of Republican Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGOP tentatively decides on Jacksonville for site of convention DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida Florida bars and theaters to reopen starting Friday, DeSantis says MORE during a heated debate in Florida’s gubernatorial race, saying the former congressman “collapsed under pressure.”
Speaking at a rally at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Gillum was quick to address the contentious debate on Wednesday that saw both candidates land a slew of personal blows against one another.
“Unfortunately my opponent, Mr. Ron DeSantis, came a little undone yesterday,” Gillum said before a crowd of cheering students. “He fell into the category of demonstrating the temperament of about a 4-year-old.”
ADVERTISEMENTGillum said DeSantis caved to pressure when he lashed out after being asked a question about his past comments praising a conservative writer who had made racist remarks.
DeSantis responded to that question on Wednesday night by insisting that he would not “bow down to the altar of political correctness.”
“How the hell am I supposed to know every statement that somebody makes?” DeSantis shouted, prompting jeers from the debate audience.
Gillum slammed DeSantis on Thursday for a series of race-related controversies that have haunted the former congressman since the day after Florida’s primary elections, when he said on Fox News that voters should not “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum.
“He collapsed under the pressure of being asked about some of the racist conferences he attended,” Gillum said. “The fact that he facilitated a Facebook group that was anti-Semitic.”
The race for governor in Florida has grown increasingly bitter in recent days, with both candidates leveling a series of personal attacks.
Gillum’s mention of the race-related controversies surrounding DeSantis was a break from his tone in past weeks, during which he rarely mentioned the subject of race. In Wednesday’s debate, Gillum suggested that DeSantis had given racists the impression that he is on their side.
“I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist,” Gillum said. “I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”