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Biden Gained’t Meet DeSantis in Florida as He Excursions Hurricane Idalia Harm

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President Biden mentioned on Friday that he would meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Saturday throughout a go to to tour the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, the Class 3 storm that hit the state’s Gulf Coast and swept throughout the Southeast this week.

However Mr. DeSantis’s workplace mentioned Friday that the governor had no such plans.

The weird miscue between the 2 chief executives — and potential 2024 rivals — got here after Mr. Biden mentioned throughout a go to to FEMA headquarters in Washington on Thursday that he would head south to see the injury.

“By the best way, I’m going to Florida,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “I’m going to Florida Saturday morning.”

The announcement had set in movement a flurry of exercise on the White Home, with aides and the Secret Service instantly planning for a go to to flood-ravaged communities in Florida.

Whereas Mr. Biden didn’t present particulars concerning the journey, throughout an occasion on the White Home Friday morning he responded to a reporter’s query about whether or not he deliberate to see Mr. DeSantis in Florida, saying merely, “Sure.”

Mr. DeSantis’s workplace mentioned in any other case.

“We don’t have any plans for the governor to satisfy with the president tomorrow,” Jeremy Redfern, the governor’s press secretary, mentioned later within the day on Friday. “In these rural communities, and so quickly after affect, the safety preparations alone that will go into establishing such a gathering would shut down ongoing restoration efforts.”

Requested on Friday night time concerning the assertion from the governor’s workplace, a White Home official, who was not approved to debate personal conversations between the president and the governor, mentioned: “The president knowledgeable the governor yesterday earlier than his go to to FEMA. The governor didn’t categorical considerations at the moment. The go to was carefully coordinated with FEMA, state and native officers to make sure there isn’t a affect to ongoing response operations.”

Storms can generally make for unusual bedfellows, particularly when a president from one political get together known as to assist a governor who may in any other case be one among his harshest critics. On this case, the dynamics are amplified, as Mr. DeSantis has been looking for the nomination to run towards Mr. Biden in 2024.

As Hurricane Idalia approached after which swept via Florida this week, Mr. DeSantis had 4 telephone calls with Mr. Biden, which either side described as productive — a stark change from how Mr. DeSantis talks concerning the president on the marketing campaign path.

Mr. Biden traveled to the state after the much more devastating Hurricane Ian final 12 months. On the time, Mr. DeSantis was nonetheless contemplating a bid for the presidency. However each Mr. Biden and the governor have mentioned they’re placing politics apart within the aftermath of the storm.

“We’ve to cope with supporting the wants of the people who find themselves in hurt’s manner or have difficulties,” Mr. DeSantis mentioned earlier this week when requested about Mr. Biden. “And that has obtained to conquer any sort of short-term political calculation or any sort of positioning. That is the actual deal. You could have individuals’s lives which have been in danger.”

Mr. DeSantis mentioned in a information convention on Friday that he had talked about to Mr. Biden on the telephone that in “the toughest communities, it will be very disruptive to have the entire form of safety equipment that goes,” including, “I’m positive they’ll be delicate to that.”

To this point, state officers have confirmed just one dying as being storm-related, though a minimum of one different was linked to Idalia as effectively. Energy had been restored to many properties by late this week. Roads and bridges had been being reopened.

“We had been prepared for this,” Mr. DeSantis instructed Sean Hannity on Fox Information on Wednesday night time, talking in entrance of a historic oak tree that had fallen on the governor’s mansion. “Most people did evacuate, and so we’re cautiously optimistic that we’re going to finish up OK on that.”



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