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DeSantis ponders what it would be like to chill with Jesus

Florida's Republican governor, a 2024 presidential candidate, revealed his Christian nationalist bona fides in a recent interview with an outlet for right-wing evangelicals.


An interview Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave to a right-wing Christian media outlet last week offered a preview of how he may use his Christian nationalist worldview to crucify Donald Trump on the 2024 presidential campaign trail.

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that aired Friday, DeSantis answered affirmatively when asked whether Trump’s criticism of Florida’s controversial six-week abortion ban meant the former president was “going soft” on the issue. Trump called the ban “harsh,” but DeSantis claimed in the interview it is actually “humane” and bashed Trump for opposing it. 

“I was surprised, because he’s a Florida resident, and I thought he would compliment the fact that we were able to do the heartbeat bill,” DeSantis said, using a misleading nickname for the strict anti-abortion measure

Photo illustration of Jesus and his apostles at the Last Supper and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis joins them.
Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis wondered in a recent interview whether he could have "been there with Jesus' disciples."MSNBC; Getty Images

DeSantis claimed we “absolutely” need more God in society today. And the governor, who’s made it his mission to essentially rid school lesson plans of references to systemic inequality and discrimination, shared a couple of subjects he likes students to learn about. 

“It’s great for us when our kids are coming back from preschool or kindergarten talking about David and Goliath,” DeSantis said. Under the DeSantis administration, discussing Goliath is apparently OK, but discussing Henry Louis Gates Jr. might get you fired.

In one of the most awkward moments of the interview, DeSantis described people from the past he wished he could have dinner with. The first answer he gave was George Washington. Typical politician’s answer, I'd say. Then he pivoted to a better one, given the setting. “Could I have been there with Jesus’ disciples?” DeSantis wondered. 

I’m going to say that’s unlikely — better yet, hell no — unless Jesus is a fan of racist voter suppression, cruel stunts targeting migrants and bullying children. “These guys all went out and they dedicated their life to spreading the Gospel,” DeSantis said, noting that he would “love to have been able to be there with them.” 

DeSantis, by the way, referred to Daniel Penny, the man charged with manslaughter for putting a New York City subway rider in a fatal chokehold, as a "good Samaritan." So his biblical interpretations have already proven unserious.

But the idea of his being one of Jesus' homies is laughable. I'm pretty sure Jesus would leave DeSantis' texts on "read."

The interviewer ended, in fitting fashion, with a line about DeSantis’ “spreading a 2024 campaign message of conservatism cloaked in faith.” That’s a stunningly accurate description of what DeSantis is doing. He’s using his religion to obscure his oppressively conservative agenda — and to bludgeon Trump, too.