Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for not meeting with President Biden during his visit to survey hurricane damage in Florida. The White House had planned a meeting between Biden and DeSantis for Friday, but DeSantis’ office later said no such meeting would occur due to logistical concerns.
Kinzinger said there’s a 1 percent to 2 percent chance it’s logistics, and a 98 percent to 99 percent chance it’s optics. DeSantis is polling second in the GOP presidential primary race and has criticized Biden on the campaign trail. Biden signed a disaster declaration for Florida on Thursday, allowing federal aid to flow into the state to help recovery from flooding and wind damage.
DeSantis’ office said security concerns made the meeting too burdensome, as the security preparations alone would shut down ongoing recovery efforts in rural communities. Biden shrugged off a potential meeting with DeSantis on Saturday, stating he doesn’t know. He and the governor have been in constant contact throughout the recovery process from Hurricane Idalia, which ravaged the state’s rural Big Bend region.