DeSantis slams New York Dems at Lee Zeldin rally on Long Island
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted New York’s Democrats at a campaign rally on Long Island on Saturday for “pampering” criminals — and accused their leadership of letting residents pack to the Sunshine State.
DeSantis, who appeared alongside New York GOP gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin, even slammed former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio over the migration.
“When de Blasio was elected Mayor of New York, do you know how much real estate in South Florida exploded when he was elected Mayor of New York City?” DeSantis joked.
DeSantis – who is believed to be the favorite to run for the Republican ticket in the 2024 presidential election – took the stage in front of thousands in Hauppauge, Suffolk County as Zeldin continues to close the gap on incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The Sunshine State leader has criticized New York politics, including controversial bail reform laws, and said he can’t wait for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to be removed from office, which Zeldin has promised if he is elected.
“The crime problem is entirely self-inflicted – you’re cutting police budgets, you’re doing things like taking bail off and you’ve got renegade prosecutors who don’t even enforce laws they agree with – of course you’re going to have that on the streets that are less safe” , DeSantis said. “Of course there will be people who don’t know the basics without fearing for their safety.”
“Stop spinning [criminals] easy on the street. You’re going to commit a crime and throw her out immediately,” he continued. “Stop letting people out of prison early. If you commit the crime, you must serve the time.”
“We need to focus more on supporting the rights of crime victims and less on the rights of criminals. Lee Zeldin will not coddle these people. He will hold you accountable and you will be safer as a result.”
DeSantis said people are “tired of the crime that you see, especially in New York City.” He boasted that Florida was a law-and-order state and that New York would become one if Zeldin were elected.
A record-breaking number of New Yorkers have traded their New York driver’s licenses for Florida driver’s licenses as droves have fled the Empire State to the Sunshine State, The Post reported last month.
DeSantis said former New Yorkers who moved to Florida are upset by the “George Floyd riots of 2020.” He said he called the Florida National Guard because “we wouldn’t let our cities burn down, we wouldn’t let our cities be destroyed.”
He also followed up on Hochul’s comments in August, where she urged New York Republicans to “just get on a bus and go to Florida where you belong,” adding, “You’re not New Yorkers.”
“You have a situation here where not only does your state make terrible decisions to displace people, you also have a governor who is telling Republicans in New York to get out of the state. How pathetic is that?” DeSantis said.
Zeldin, speaking after DeSantis, said New Yorkers are leaving because the state has become too expensive, unsafe and restrictive.
“We want to be able to say we live in the greatest state in the greatest country in the world, but then we call our friends and family in other places like Florida,” Zeldin said.
“And then they point out to us, ‘Don’t New York lead the country on migration?’ So how can you say you live in the greatest state in the greatest country in the world?”
With just 10 days to go until Election Day, Zeldin has risen into the single digits from Hochul in polls in recent weeks.
Both candidates still have around $6 million in their coffers for the final 10-day push to the finish line.
Participants in Saturday night’s rally told the Post that the single biggest concern for them in this election was crime.
“Crime is the number one problem,” said Forest Hills resident David Rem, a self-proclaimed worker and father of a 17-year-old daughter.
“I’m worried that I won’t see her in the evening,” Rem told the Post. “She is forced to take the train. I’m not a millionaire. I have no police protection and neither do they.”
“There were stabbings and shootings. Kathy Hochul said it’s all about guns. It’s not just about guns. People get hit on the head with hammers,” he said of the violence in New York.
Phil Eareckson, a 54-year-old Babylonian and registered Republican, said he was “looking for a change in New York. I want crime and bail reform.”
“Crime! Crime! Crime!” added his wife Karla, 50, a retired nurse.
Judy Tedesco, 55, of Yaphank, also said she wanted Republicans to take control of the state to “stop crime,” calling Gov. Hochul “out of touch” on the matter.
“I think she’s out of touch with everyone. When she said I don’t know why crime is so important to you, she obviously isn’t among the masses. She’s confused and doesn’t understand why crime is an issue.”