There is nothing sweeter than catching a politician in an outright lie or deception.
But that is exactly what Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis did to his Democratic opponent, progressive Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum.
When DeSantis put Gillum on the spot over respecting an ICE detainer if issued, Gillum flat out refused to answer the question.
Ron DeSantis asks Andrew Gillum if he would honor a detainer request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove dangerous illegal alien criminals from Florida.
Gillum refuses to answer. pic.twitter.com/xGcaelbdBg
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 22, 2018
The Set Up
Both Florida gubernatorial candidates appeared on CNN for a debate ahead of the mid-term elections. Gillum leans decidedly left, having endorsed Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” single payer health plan and a $15 minimum wage, along with calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment in 2017. DeSantis, meanwhile, is a staunch Trump supporter.
Moderator Jake Tapper hit the candidates with a question about immigration right out of the gate.
Tapper stated that there are currently 850,000 undocumented immigrants in the state of Florida. “Mayor Gillum, let me start with you. You say Florida must be a welcoming state for all people.”
“Does that mean that the 850,000 undocumented immigrants living here should be granted U.S. citizenship?” Tapper asked.
Gillum attempted to portray a moderate stance, saying he did not think they should be given citizenship and further stated he thinks the country needs considerable immigration reform.
On the Spot
But when DeSantis put Gillum on the spot over honoring ICE detainers, instead of answering, Gillum instead accused his opponent of showboating.
“Well, will you honor a request from Donald Trump’s ICE agency? If they provide a detainer request, will you honor it as governor?” asked DeSantis. “Will you work with Donald Trump? Yes or no?” Gillum refused to answer.
Addressing Tapper, DeSantis explained, “He won’t answer, Jake. That’s important because that’s what happens when somebody is a criminal. I’ve been a prosecutor. I’ve worked with law enforcement. When they are in the system, they are convicted, maybe they serve ten years.”
“But it comes time to come out,” DeSantis continued. “There’s a detainer request from ICE, you turn him over to ICE or release him into the community. That’s the only two options. Andrew will not answer the question. That tells me he would be willing to release them back into our community.”
Twisting the Facts
During the debate, Gillum did not allow small things like facts to get in the way of his narrative.
He falsely claimed that the Trump administration has done nothing to crack down on the opioid issue, and further criticized the administration over not doing anything to address sex trafficking in this country.
The facts, though, tell a different story. Trump is already putting pressure on China over fentanyl as well as seeking out an antidote to protect against overdoses.
Furthermore, the president has challenged members of Congress to pass legislation that will address all of these issues.
In addition, the Justice Department has made several notable arrests of known sex traffickers recently.
Gillum was majorly exposed during this debate. We just hope the voters in Florida were listening.