President Biden targeted a trio of Florida politicians on social media and in an address to a black law enforcement organization this week, accusing them of opposing an assault weapons ban and endangering cops.
The offensive came after Sunshine State officials took aim at the Biden administration during a pair of high-profile GOP functions in Florida over the weekend.
“Leaders like Governor DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Rick Scott are all opposed to banning assault weapons,” Biden tweeted. “And to me, it’s simple. If you can’t support banning weapons of war on America’s streets, you’re not on the side of police.”
The tweet was in step with comments Biden made remotely Monday to a National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives meeting in Florida, where he argued Republican support of police is at odds with their gun control stance.
“You hear a lot of politicians say about how much they love you, how much they care about you, they’ll do anything for you,” he said. “In the state you’re in today, Gov. DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Rick Scott all opposed banning assault weapons — and Sen. Scott and Rubio voted against the bipartisan gun safety law that I signed.”
Biden, who said he owns two shotguns and supports the Second Amendment, also told the group the presence of “weapons of war” on American streets presents a danger for police officers.
But DeSantis has long cast his backing of law enforcement as unassailable, highlighting an influx of disaffected out-of-state cops into Florida departments.
DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw reiterated the governor’s support of legal gun ownership.
“As for ‘assault weapons,’ it’s not clear how the Biden Administration defines that term,” she said in a statement. “Gov. DeSantis opposes attempts to infringe on the rights of law-abiding firearm owners.”
Pushaw added that Biden’s targeting of Florida was an attempt to distract from other issues plaguing the administration — including rising inflation and fears of recession.
“Under the leadership of Gov. DeSantis, Florida has emerged as a national success story in contrast to the Biden Administration’s dysfunction,” Pushaw said. “Perhaps the president could learn something from Florida.”
Although DeSantis has not announced an official campaign, the first-term governor is considered to be a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, along with former President Donald Trump.