Skip to content

Transportation Secretary Buttigieg Criticizes DeSantis’ Homophobic Video

Buttigieg questions DeSantis' priorities amid controversial video release

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg tried to choose his words “carefully” when asked to comment on Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’ recent attempt at attacking former President Donald Trump. Nevertheless, he ended up taking the Florida Governor to task anyway.

PHILADELPHIA, UNITED STATES – JUNE 30: Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis speaks at the Moms for Liberty Summit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2023. DeSantis had been criticized by the LGBTQ community for the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. (Hannah Beier for the Washington Post via Getty Images) 

The so-called “DeSantis War Room” Twitter account posted a rather odd video that observers — including Log Cabin Republicans (a GOP group that represents gays and lesbians) — have called “homophobic.”

“I’m going to leave aside the strangeness of trying to prove your manhood by putting up a video that splices images of you in between oiled-up shirtless bodybuilders and just get to the bigger issue that is on my mind whenever I see this stuff in the policy space,” Buttigieg said on CNN’s Sunday show, “State of the Union.”

The video proudly likens DeSantis to movie characters like the fictional serial killer in “American Psycho” and financial criminal Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” It also weaves in footage of random bodybuilders and Brad Pitt from “Troy” for unstated reasons.

In one instance, it seemingly pokes fun at a Trump speech from 2016. At the Republican National Convention, the then-candidate expressed sympathy for the LGBTQ community after a mass shooting occurred at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in DeSantis’s home state of Florida. The tragedy left 49 people dead.

“Who are you trying to help? Who are you trying to make better off? And what public policy problems do you get up in the morning thinking about how to solve?” Buttigieg asked. “These are the kinds of problems that most of us got into government, politics, and public service in order to work on, and I just don’t understand the mentality of somebody who gets up in the morning thinking that he’s going to prove his worth by competing over who can make life hardest for a hard-hit community that is already so vulnerable in America.”

The video was released on the same day that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a website designer who refused to accept a gay couple as clients.

DeSantis remains popular among Republican primary voters, but trails Trump who manages to maintain support despite his ongoing legal troubles.

And lately, DeSantis has drawn the ire of both Republicans and Democrats in a number of other instances, including his opposition to cannabis decriminalization, his alleged violation of campaign rules, his ongoing lawsuit with Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS), his receiving backlash from New Hampshire voters, and his support of a cancer-linked waste used in road construction.

Produced in association with Benzinga

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Joseph Hammond

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners