Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez told Newsmax Wednesday that President Joe Biden used his visit to view the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia to push his climate change agenda and “politicize” the storm.
“There’s no time for photo-ops, which is why [Gov. Ron DeSantis] was really focused on making sure that Floridians that are hurting, that are struggling, who lost their property, lost their businesses, were hearing directly from him,” Nunez said during “The Chris Salcedo Show.”
“So [for Biden] to be able to politicize this and make this a part of your agenda, your ideological push for climate change and your new green deal, Floridians have no patience for that.”
Reportedly, the category 3 storm plowed into the Big Bend region of the state on Aug. 30 with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and caused widespread flooding before weakening as it headed into Georgia and South Carolina as a tropical storm.
Biden visited the region on Saturday with DeSantis noticeably absent.
“I’m here today to deliver a clear message to the people of Florida and throughout the Southeast,” Biden said after a walking tour of the damage.
“As I’ve told your governor, if there’s anything your state needs, I’m ready to mobilize that support — anything they need related to these storms. Your nation has your back, and we’ll be with you until the job is done.”
Nunez said the visit, however, was more of a disruption as state emergency crews were still actively trying to clear debris, open roads, and restore power to residents.
“There’s a lot of damage to roads, which is why our Florida Department of Transportation was busy making sure to clear roadways and debris. So we wanted that work to continue,” Nunez said. “We did not want to delay people having access to the mainland, having access to the roadways, to be able to go check on their relatives and their loved ones.”
She said the president’s “security apparatus,” including the Secret Service, required roads to be closed during the visit, making it difficult for residents to do what they needed to in the storm’s wake.
“That really wasn’t going to be helpful,” she said. “Floridians just wanted to get to their folks to make sure that they were taken care of, make sure that their properties are OK, and start that tedious process of rebuilding.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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