MSNBC contributor and Morgan State professor Dr. Jason Johnson argued that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would be running against more than just Donald Trump if he announced his candidacy for president.
"I have to set this up properly," Johnson said on Tuesday as guest host of MSNBC's "The ReidOut."
"You run from Florida, it’s all crystal meth and alligators, right?" Johnson said, explaining that voter stereotypes of the Sunshine State may come to hurt DeSantis’ presidential hopes.
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"I mean, that’s what people think. And I’m not saying that’s the case, I'm saying those are sort of the national reputations of those states" he added.
"In my view, there are three states that you can’t really run from if you’re trying to win across America," Johnson said.
"You run from New York, you’re too crazy, you’re a liberal. You run from California, you’re too crazy, you’re liberal [and] you’re trying to make sure I can’t get plastic straws. You run from Florida, it’s all crystal meth and alligators, right?"
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Democratic political strategist Kurt Bardella agreed with Johnson’s view of Florida.
"We must have entered some sort of quantum realm here if Ron DeSantis thinks that the entirety of the United States of America wants to have happen in our country what he has done to the state of Florida."
Bardella accused Florida of "banning books," "dealing with mass shootings" and "ignoring the catastrophic impacts of climate change, which by the way, will hit the state of Florida first."
Bardella's book banning claim was a reference to Florida law. The law, supported by DeSantis' administration, requires that lesson materials be "free of pornography," "suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material" and "appropriate" for the students' age.
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"That’s not a recipe for a good national conversation, a healthy national conversation," Bardella added.
While DeSantis has not officially declared his candidacy for 2024, the media has pushed allegations that former President Donald Trump sees the Florida governor as a serious political threat.
Last week, comedians Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel covered a New York Times report which claimed that Trump has privately called DeSantis "Meatball Ron," in reports that Trump later appeared to shoot down.
"I do not like how much I love that!" Colbert said of the alleged nickname.
"It’s so dumb and accurate," he added.
Fox News' Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.