Not all Florida politicians seek to pay homage to Rush Limbaugh.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried announced Monday that she would disregard Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to lower state flags to half the staff to honor Limbaugh, the conservative radio host who died last week after a battle with lung cancer.
“Halving the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that honors fallen heroes and patriots. It is not a partisan political tool, ”Fried, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Therefore, I will advise all state offices under my direction to disregard the governor’s upcoming order to lower the flags for Mr. Limbaugh – because we will not be celebrating hate speech,” sectarianism and division. Lowering the flag should always reflect unity, not division, and raising our standards, not lowering them. Our flags will continue to fly high in celebration of America’s values of diversity, inclusion and respect for all. “
On Friday, DeSantis announced his decision to lower flags in government buildings in Florida to honor the man who made a career of attacking Democrat politicians and politicians. The flags, DeSantis said, would be lowered the day Limbaugh was buried.
“When there are things of this magnitude, once the burial date for Rush is announced, we will reduce the flags to half the staff,” DeSantis said at a press conference in County of Palm Beach.
Limbaugh was a close political ally of former President Donald Trump, who awarded the radio host the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the 2020 State of the Union address. DeSantis, who aired commercials during of his 2018 gubernatorial run, proclaiming he held views identical to Trump’s, expressed personal attachment to Limbaugh on Friday.
“Not much to say, the guy was an absolute legend,” he said of Limbaugh, who resided in Palm Beach. “He was a friend of mine and a great person.”
Fried responded to DeSantis’ remarks on Twitter.
DeSantis isn’t the only one praising Limbaugh. Many Republican lawmakers have paid tribute to the host following his death.
Last week, Trump released a statement congratulating him.
“Rush was a patriot, a defender of freedom and someone who believed in the greatness of our country,” the former president said in his statement.
In a Monday op-ed by Fox News, former Vice President Mike Pence said Limbaugh “gave voice to the ideals and values that made this country great; he inspired a generation of American conservatives ; he touched men and women, young and old on every path of life with his spirit and wisdom, and he will be sorely missed. “
For Democrats like Fried, Limbaugh’s fanatical statements are impossible to dismiss. And in his final episodes, Limbaugh continued to push the lie that the presidential election was stolen from Trump.
In 2007, he released a parody song called “Barack, the Magic Negro,” which made fun of Sen. Barack Obama’s sudden rise to the national stage after a black Los Angeles Times columnist called him such. Earlier in his career, he often made fun of homosexuals. “When a homosexual turns his back on you, it’s anything but an insult,” he once said, “it’s an invitation”.
In 2004, he compared the NBA to criminal gangs. “I think it’s time to get rid of all this National Basketball Association. Call it the TBA, the Thug Basketball Association, and stop calling them teams. Call them gangs,” Limbaugh said. In 2013, he absolved whites of their role in slavery. “If a race of people is not to feel guilty about slavery, it is Caucasians,” Limbaugh said. “The white race probably had fewer slaves and for a shorter period of time than any other in the history of the world.”
He has often targeted feminists, such as when he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “bitch” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress about universal health coverage for birth control. Years earlier, Limbaugh wrote that feminism “was established in a way that allowed unattractive women to enter the mainstream of society.”
Fried is the only elected Democrat in the state of Florida. Last month Republican Matt Gaetz, a close ally of Trump, said he was considering challenging Fried in the 2022 elections.
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