Ron DeSantis team responsible for homophobic campaign video, reports claim

Ron DeSantis, mouth open, speaks during an event.

A homophobic presidential campaign advert backing Ron DeSantis, purportedly made independently, was allegedly created by his own team, a report has stated.

The since-deleted advert, posted on Twitter in June and later endorsed by the Florida governor’s rapid response campaign team, celebrated DeSantis’ anti-LGBTQ+ record and compared him to fictional psychopath Patrick Bateman, from American Psycho.

It also criticised Donald Trump by attempting to position him as pro-LGBTQ+, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, featuring clips of the former president showing support to the community following the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting.

While DeSantis called the advert “fair game,” a recent report in The New York Times suggests that it was produced internally by a campaign aide.

Sources who claim to have “knowledge of the incident” told journalists that the aide reportedly produced the video and passed it to an outside supporter to make it seem as if it had been created independently.

While declining to comment on the video itself, communications director Andrew Romeo told the paper that DeSantis was “ready to prove the doubters wrong again.”

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He added: “Our campaign is prepared to execute on his vision for the great American comeback. The media and D.C. [Washington] elites have already picked their candidates – Joe Biden and Donald Trump – Ron DeSantis has never been the favourite or the darling of the establishment, and he has won because of it every time.”

Ron DeSantis, sitting behind a table, smiles with his eyes half-closed.
Americans aren’t so sure about Ron DeSantis, according to opinion polls. (Getty)

Despite his campaign team positioning DeSantis as the “anti-woke” Republican candidate of tomorrow, Americans are, as yet anyway, not convinced.

Opinion polls from US analytics website FiveThirtyEight suggest that more than 45 per cent of American’s have an unfavourable opinion of the Florida governor, with 35.4 per cent finding him favourable – with that percentage having dropped considerably over the past month.

Republican primary polls suggest that DeSantis is also nowhere near where he needs to be to successfully rival Trump for the nomination, with the governor only pleasing 18 per cent of primary voters, compared with the former president’s 51 per cent.

While both candidates would be astronomically bad for the LGBTQ+ community, DeSantis’ campaign has been built on a foundation of “anti-wokery”.

Since announcing his candidacy in May, DeSantis has continued to attack queer people with bills set to mitigate their rights.

The situation has become so dire in Florida that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) declared a “state of emergency” and urged queer people to consider not to travel to there.

It updated a travel advisory notice in May, urging pro-LGBTQ+ tourists to either reconsider their plans entirely or create a “clear safety plan” on entering the Sunshine state.

This plan included being aware of “your constitutional rights,” mapping out specific areas that are dangerous to queer Floridians, and meeting with a lawyer prior to travel.

In a statement published on 6 June, HRC president Kelley Robinson said: “LGBTQ+ Americans are living in a state of emergency. The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived, they are real, tangible and dangerous.”