Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the Republican candidate for Florida governor, has spoken four times at David Horowitz Freedom Center conferences alongside provocateurs like Milo Yiannopoulos, according to a Sunday Washington Post report.
David Horowitz, the conservative founder of the event, has reportedly claimed that African Americans owe their freedom to white people, and that the only real American race war is against white people.
“I just want to say what an honor it’s been to be here to speak,” DeSantis said in his 2015 appearance, per the Washington Post. “David has done such great work and I’ve been an admirer. I’ve been to these conferences in the past but I’ve been a big admirer of an organization that shoots straight, tells the American people the truth and is standing up for the right thing.”
Speakers invited to past conferences include James Damore, an ex-Google engineer who was fired for circulating a memo arguing that “biological causes” explain why few women are in tech fields, and Douglas Murray, who contends that Europe is “committing suicide” by welcoming refugees.
A DeSantis spokeswoman told the Washington Post that the candidate does not “buy into this ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ notion that he is responsible for the views and speeches of others.”
However, DeSantis, a devoted Trump acolyte, has come under fire recently for comments he made about the Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, who would be the first Black governor of Florida, including warning voters not to “monkey up” the race by voting for his opponent.