DeSantis: ‘Cold war’ would erupt between Florida in Georgia if Stacey Abrams elected governor

Boldly throwing down the political gauntlet on Friday, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued the rhetorical warning that should Democrat Stacey Abrams be elected governor in neighboring Georgia, a “cold war” between the two states would erupt, as Fox News reports.

Speaking at a Gulf County press conference centered on infrastructure, DeSantis declared, “If Stacey Abrams is elected governor of Georgia, I just want to be honest, that will be a cold war between Florida and Georgia.”

Expressing his hope that voters will prevent such an outcome from coming to fruition, DeSantis added, “I can’t have Castro to my south and Abrams to my north, that would be a disaster. So I hope you guys take care of that and we’ll end up in good shape.”

Abrams hits the trail

DeSantis’ remarks come weeks after Abrams took her second gubernatorial campaign into its next phase with a large rally in Atlanta, as Politico noted, marking her formal return as a candidate for statewide office after her 2018 bid to lead her state went down to defeat.

That contest, which Abrams has still declined to concede, was to current Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, against whom she will be running again, with former GOP Sen. David Perdue also having thrown his hat into the ring this time around.

Following that defeat, Abrams has succeeded in cultivating a loyal following among Democrats across the country, largely for her voter mobilization efforts that helped secure the victories of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in hotly contested U.S. Senate races.

During the aforementioned Atlanta event, Abrams worked hard to generate enthusiasm for her latest campaign, saying, “I want you to join with me to make joy for Georgia. To make opportunity for Georgia. To bring success to Georgia. I want you to stand with me. I want you to run with me, and I want you to win with me. Because in November of 2022, we’re going to become the governor of the great state of Georgia.”

DeSantis explains

It is no surprise that DeSantis is making his opposition to a potential Abrams win quite clear, given the candidate’s self-declared, liberal-oriented election reform, Medicaid expansion, and education funding priorities.

While the blunt manner in which he stated his case certainly made headlines this week, a press secretary in DeSantis’ office explained that he was merely attempting to highlight the distinction between his governing approach and the one Abrams would almost certainly employ if she were to win in Georgia.

“The governor was simply making an analogy to the stark ideological differences that underpinned the Cold War,” the spokesperson told Newsweek.

“If Stacey Abrams wins the governorship of Georgia, we know that her approach to leadership will involve more heavy-handed government, taxes, and bureaucrat influence,” the statement continued. “In Florida, Governor DeSantis will continue to keep Florida free and put citizens first.”

While DeSantis’ point in this realm is certainly well-taken, according to recent polling from The Hill/Emerson College, Abrams currently trails Kemp and Perdue by margins of 44-51% and 44-49%, respectively, so perhaps the governor can rest easy that a progressive takeover in his backyard may not be in the offing after all.

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