Wednesday, February 8

Ron DeSantis’ latest border bash omits Martha’s Vineyard mention

Gov. Ron DeSantis is ripping Joe Biden’s immigration policy in a new pitch to donors, but he also leaves out the details of his own controversial response.

The DeSantis-signed “Biden created this crisis” email is full of indictments of the Biden border policy, but absent from the missive is any mention of last week’s charter flight of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, or this week’s apparent decision to fake a similar flight to Delaware to “punk” reporters covering the story.

While there isn’t a direct mention of the Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights, a reference to “stunts” would seem to be an allusion to the operation, with DeSantis saying the real stunts, of course, are Biden’s doing.

“The Left has been chirping about political stunts to deflect from the real issues happening at the border, but the biggest political stunt by far has been Biden coming in as president and reversing policies that worked just to virtue signal to his base,” DeSantis contends.

Much of the email offers variations on the Biden blaming DeSantis has advanced in comments to media in recent days.

“As the crisis at our southern border worsens, the Left seems to be up in arms and offended about everything except the crisis itself,” DeSantis contends. “I haven’t heard a peep about the millions of people who are being told by Biden they can just walk freely into our country. I haven’t heard a peep about these people being used and abused by the cartels.”

And DeSantis of course asserts the moral high ground, yoking Biden to Democrat Charlie Crist.

“We need leaders with integrity who are willing to put the American people above their political standings. Biden and his pocket puppets, like my opponent, wouldn’t know the meaning of integrity if it were printed on a rubber wristband or written in 78-point font on a teleprompter,” DeSantis contended.

Critics abound, of course, who say that DeSantis’ response to migration through the Mexican border doesn’t evidence “integrity,” with many Democrats saying the Governor is guilty of “human trafficking.”

DeSantis defended the migrant flight Thursday in Miami, again blaming President Biden for having “dumped people all over the fruited plain,” continuing a pattern of deflection in the wake of last week’s events.

Earlier this week, DeSantis told friendly interviewer Sean Hannity that travelers and those in Martha’s Vineyard “wanted” the plane to land.

“They said they wanted this, they said they were a sanctuary jurisdiction,” DeSantis claimed.

The undocumented immigrants had “all signed consent forms to go,” DeSantis said, showing that the flights were “clearly voluntary and all the other nonsense you’re hearing is just not true.”

A press conference earlier this week was animated by questions about the Delaware trip, with DeSantis refusing to “confirm” the trip was happening as rumored. Ultimately, there was no landing in Delaware, a swerve that a DeSantis-linked source said left the media “punked.” Subsequent reporting from the Miami Herald revealed that these immigrants were stranded as a result, but a dishy source had already gloated to Marc Caputo before that piece ran.

“He didn’t tell anyone and purposely left people in the dark. So technically the media, the Democrats, everyone got punked who decided to heed some s*** on Twitter instead of waiting for confirmation from the Governor’s Office,” a source told NBC News. “The entire point of this is to put a spotlight on the border. It’s what the Governor has said.”

Meanwhile, it seems the scheme will encounter legal scrutiny: Venezuelan migrants are suing the Florida Governor in federal court in the wake of last week’s Massachusetts flight that took 50 people from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, with a brief stopover in Florida.

The DeSantis administration has been on the defensive in the wake of the legal filing.

“The transportation of the immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard was done on a voluntary basis,” Communications Director Taryn Fenske said in a statement to the Texas Tribune.

“The immigrants were homeless, hungry, and abandoned — and these activists didn’t care about them then. Florida’s program gave them a fresh start in a sanctuary state and these individuals opted to take advantage of chartered flights to Massachusetts. It was disappointing that Martha’s Vineyard called in the Massachusetts National Guard to bus them away from the island within 48 hours.”

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