White House officials said that President Joe Biden's visit to Florida was not about politics, despite not meeting with Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis during his visit.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the concern on Saturday in questions with reporters.
White House says 'there was no indication' DeSantis would snub Biden visit after Idalia https://t.co/0khTRkqhea
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 2, 2023
"The president spoke with the governor. It was an understanding that the president said to him he was coming to Florida. We never heard any disagreement with it," Jean-Pierre stated.
"It is not about politics. It doesn't matter if it's a red state or a blue state, the president's going to show up and be there for the community. And that's what you're seeing," she added.
DeSantis Tells Biden Not to Visit Florida Following Hurricane Idalia
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 2, 2023
“We don’t have any plans for the governor to meet with the president tomorrow,” DeSantis’ press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, said.
“In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on Biden’s visit Saturday:
“One thing I did mention to him on the phone is where these communities — the hardest-hit communities — it would be very disruptive to have the whole kind of security apparatus that goes…I’m sure they’ll be sensitive to that.” pic.twitter.com/i7wMPBhKgv
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2023
The governor personally addressed the issue with reporters who asked about DeSantis not meeting with Biden during his visit.
“One thing I did mention to him on the phone is where these communities — the hardest-hit communities — it would be very disruptive to have the whole kind of security apparatus that goes…I’m sure they’ll be sensitive to that," he stated.
Hurricane Idalia left widespread destruction to part of the Gulf coast of Florida last week, with strong flooding and power outages for hundreds of thousands of people.
Florida's emergency response has been noted for its quick response, with some areas having power restored within six hours and thousands of recovery vehicles in place to assist.
The recovery effort by DeSantis has also been noted as a positive contrast to Biden's slow response to Hawaii's recent wildfires. Biden was on vacation during the fires, taking a week to respond with federal resources in the tragedy that took the lives of over 100 people.