Jesse Watters attempted to make a wry dig at President Joe Biden on Thursday over his response to Hurricane Ian but came up empty after receiving pushback not from a Democratic-leaning guest but former George W. Bush deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.
The Fox News host tried to give the impression that Biden has been dragging his feet about providing aid to storm-ravaged Florida, despite Gov. Ron DeSantis saying he is “thankful” for the help from the administration, which he has often criticized. On Thursday, Biden approved federal aid to individuals in nine counties, meaning affected residents could receive up to $37,900 for home repairs and the same amount to cover lost personal property.
“Do you think if Ron DeSantis renamed Florida ‘Ukraine,’ Joe Biden would give him the federal aid faster?” Watters asked, regurgitating an argument often heard from his colleagues like Tucker Carlson, who have questioned the amount and frequency of aid to the war-torn nation battling Russia.
“Well, you know what? He did, and Governor DeSantis made this point: that the federal government… the state of Florida sent its initial request, they immediately responded, and said yes,” Rove replied. “They made a request for what’s called individual assistance. And you heard the governor just now reflect on it. The federal government immediately responded and said yes.”
Prior to Rove’s appearance, Watters tuned into a live briefing where DeSantis again voiced his appreciation for FEMA’s help. (After Hurricane Sandy ravaged the New York/New Jersey region in 2013, then-Rep. DeSantis opposed federal money for the cleanup effort, calling it a “put it on the credit card mentality.”)
“So far, we haven’t seen politics when it comes to the delivery of the aid. And let’s hope not,” Rove continued. “Let’s hope that the emergency officials in charge of the federal entity that has to relate to the state keep the politics out of it. That’s what—in Republican and Democratic administrations alike—they’ve done in the past. Let’s hope that they continue to do it in the future.”