Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has come under fire for using violent language during a campaign event in New Hampshire, where he pledged to confront officials in executive branch agencies, referring to them as the “deep state,” stating that he would “start slitting throats on day one” if elected president in 2024.
“We’re going to have all of these deep state people, you know, we are going to start slitting throats on day one,” DeSantis said.
The use of such aggressive rhetoric, similar to his approach against political opponents in Florida as he advances conservative policies at a relentless pace, has raised concerns among political observers.
Many find his choice of words disturbing and dangerous, with some media figures and commentators expressing their dismay over his statement.
“‘Slitting throats’?” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The Lincoln Project responded with a simple “What,” and former GOP congressman Joe Walsh criticized DeSantis, stating that such cruelty should not be tolerated in political discourse.
“Who says something like that?” Walsh wrote. “HE said something like that. He really said it. Look, I know cruelty sells in my former world of the right, but this is…this is such a bad thing to say.”
Journalist John Harwood called Mr DeSantis’ words “sick” and “dangerous.”
New Hampshire Public Radio reported that even some GOP voters were taken aback by the governor’s language, suggesting that a more cautious approach in his communication would be advisable.