Where Things Stand: There Are Layers To Team DeSantis’ Furious Response To Donalds’ Criticism

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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 30: Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) shakes hands with former U.S. President Donald Trump during the Moms for Liberty Joyful Warriors national summit at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown ... PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JUNE 30: Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) shakes hands with former U.S. President Donald Trump during the Moms for Liberty Joyful Warriors national summit at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on June 30, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The self-labeled "parental rights" summit is bringing school board hopefuls from across the country where attendees will receive training and hear from Republican presidential candidates which include former U.S. President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. The summit, which is being held in an overwhelmingly Democratic Philadelphia, has drawn protestors since the event was announced due to their pushing of book bans accusing schools of ideological overreach, including teaching about race, gender, and sexuality. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Just a few hours after we noted last night that Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), the only Black Republican in Florida’s congressional delegation, very softly criticized one line of Florida’s new Black history curriculum, Team DeSantis responded with outsized fury.

The press secretary for the governor’s office responded by comparing Donalds to Vice President Kamala Harris, who just traveled to Florida to publicly condemn the new teaching standards for middle school students.

The state’s education commissioner, Manny Diaz Jr., also laid into Donalds:

“The federal government won’t dictate Florida’s education standards. This new curriculum is based on truth. We will not back down from teaching our nation’s true history at the behest of a woke White House, nor at the behest of a supposedly conservative congressman.”

And the DeSantis campaign’s rapid response director and all around DeSantis bulldog Christina Pushaw responded to Donalds’ tweet with a GIF of Harris. Donalds clearly took note of the seemingly unjustified umbrage. He posted another tweet Wednesday evening pointing out that he only had a problem with the one “personal benefits of slavery” sentence.

He also took this opportunity to remind all interested parties that he has, in fact, endorsed Donald Trump for president in 2024, not Ron DeSantis.

“Just another reason why l’m proud to have endorsed President Donald J. Trump!” he wrote.

That could be part of why the backlash to Donalds’ feeble criticism was so fierce. But there’s another layer as well.

Just after the speakership race thrust the previously no-name congressman into the national political spotlight, Donalds didn’t hesitate when asked by CNN in February if he would consider running for governor of Florida if DeSantis ended up running for president (this was, of course, before DeSantis’ Republican-dominated state legislature got rid of Florida’s resign to run law so DeSantis could officially launch his bid and remain governor).

And again this summer, Donalds reiterated in a profile by Vanity Fair that he has an interest in running for governor when DeSantis’ term expires in 2027.

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