Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ media-fighting style is winning him comparisons to former President Donald Trump — including for his very strong use of hand gestures.
The bout: During a press conference on Tuesday in Panama City, DeSantis continued to slam “60 Minutes” for its debunked Sunday hit job alleging his administration’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout was corrupt.
- DeSantis called the CBS story “a piece of horse manure,” the journalists involved “smear merchants” and the media “a disaster.”
- “Corporate media can’t run over this governor, I’m punching back,” he said.
The post-fight: Some viewers noted that it wasn’t just the Republican governor’s combative rhetoric that seemed familiar
- DeSantis appeared to deploy all five types of hand gestures once attributed to Trump by body language expert Mary Civiello: “L shape and pinch,” “palms out,” “pointing,” “slicing” and “wild gestures.”
Pedro Gonzalez, a Trump-critical populist conservative, deemed DeSantis’ gesticulations “similar or superior” to the former president’s.
Conservative commentator Matt Erickson asked Scott Adams, the “Dilbert” comic strip creator and self-proclaimed expert on Trump’s powers of persuasion, to weigh in on “DeSantis incorporating the Trump hand gestures.”
Aidan McLaughlin, Mediaites’ editor in chief, wondered if “DeSantis has adopted Trump’s weird hand gestures? Or has he always done this[?]”
In fact, DeSantis has been accused of imitating Trump’s hand gestures as far back as his unabashedly MAGA-themed 2018 gubernatorial campaign.
The next round?: Since becoming governor, DeSantis has won over many Florida Democrats and Independents while emerging as a favorite for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
- Supporters and critics alike have agreed the media attacks against DeSantis — and his savvy counterattacks — are only boosting his national profile.
- “DeSantis couldn’t have written this script any better,” said CNN’s Chris Cillizza on Tuesday, referring to the “60 Minutes” brouhaha. “He gets oodles more national attention and love from Trump conservatives, all the while being able to bash away at the media. Win, win, win.”