President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have different political views yet they still showed remarkable unity in the wake of the Surfside condo disaster.
Tragedy has brought together at least one Democrat and Republican, who cast their differences aside to deliver government aid for Miamians affected by the building’s collapse on June 24.
President Biden and Gov. DeSantis, who might run for president in 2024, stood shoulder-to-shoulder at a command briefing in the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort to give relief to grieving families of more than 140 who died in the collapse.
The president claimed the federal government would reimburse both state and county level spending on recovery operations for the first 30 days. He then praised DeSantis for concentrating on the welfare of affected residents and their loved ones.
“Just the simple act of everybody doing whatever needs to be done—it really makes a difference, governor,” Biden said in a joint statement.
DeSantis returned the compliment by expressing gratitude to the Democrat before reflecting on the calamity’s scale.
“You have recognized the severity of this tragedy from day one, and you have been very supportive,” he said in the statement.
For a brief moment, Biden even patted the governor’s arm while declaring they were both showing the nation different political parties can work together.
“Let me say just one more thing,” the president said. “You know what is good about this—the way you have cooperated? We are letting the nation know we can cooperate.”
DeSantis rose to the governorship as a Donald Trump devotee, who once helped the former president defeat a more mainstream Republican opponent. He continues to be a GOP favorite who draws criticism from liberal rivals who are unhappy with his response to voting rights, the Chinese Communist Party Virus outbreak, and other issues.
Nevertheless, both leaders received high accolades for working together.
“It reminds us that we are all mortal and that we are all human, and that we all share these same feelings–whether you are red or blue,” University of Virginia Miller Center Presidential Studies Director Barbara Perry said according to The Hill.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner René Garcia also commended the pair for setting aside party politics.
“They are man enough to say you know what, this is not about politics,” the former state legislator said according to the publication. “This is about doing the right thing for our state and for our country, and for our people.”
After suffering multiple personal losses, Biden is known for passionately displaying empathy during times of catastrophe and sorrow. His administration promises to make a priority of uniting the country and reaching across the aisle.
Senior political adviser Christian Ulvert believes the Democrat was successful in convincing voters that he really cares about the United States.
“President Biden’s strength is because he believes in America,” the former adviser to Biden’s and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava’s campaigns said according to Receive News. “Even [in] his most harshest detractors, he pulls it out in people.”
Although one Democratic strategist thinks the broader electorate considers the governor’s cooperation with the president to be a “defining moment,” not all Democrats share this view.
“I am saddened that it took such an immense tragedy for Gov. DeSantis to put politics aside and allow the federal government to aid Floridians in need,” Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairman Steve Simeonidis said according to The Hill.
This is not the first time different political parties have banded together during a tragedy and is unlikely to be the last.
Exactly how DeSantis’s political base will react to his latest teamwork is unknown. Florida Republicans will only confirm its constituency recognizes the Sunshine State’s electoral importance in general elections.
“If the Republican Party is going to get back into power in Washington. D.C., Florida has to put the party on its back and will them back into power,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said according to the publication.
On the other side of the state, former President Trump hosted a rally in Sarasota. BL understands DeSantis did not attend because he wanted to stay at Surfside and help local efforts plus affected families.
Meanwhile, the governor’s administration has rejected reports that DeSantis urged Trump not to conduct a rally in the state after the tragedy.