Gov. DeSantis joins Donald Trump as the president seeks senior-citizen votes in Fort Myers

President Trump campaigned in Fort Myers on Oct. 16, 2020. Screenshot credit: WhiteHouse.gov

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined President Trump in Fort Myers on Friday to participate in a “Protecting America’s Seniors” rally and was rewarded by being compared to Elvis.

Trump told a lively crowd that while waiting backstage he heard a large cheer from the audience. “I thought Elvis had entered the room,” Trump said. “It was your governor, Ron DeSantis.”

Reading from a teleprompter but adding his signature asides from time to time, Trump highlighted what his administration has done for senior citizens.

A Mason-Dixon poll released earlier in the day reported that 50 percent of likely Florida voters aged 65 and up support Trump for reelection, with 41 percent behind Democrat Joe Biden.

Notably, 9 percent of these older voters were undecided. Biden held a 3-percentage-point lead in the overall result.

The president and his family have been barnstorming the largest swing state and Trump was due in Ocala later on Friday.

Trump has been flouting U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommendations regarding social distancing a faces masks and recently was hospitalized with the coronavirus. He disdained to wear a mask during his senior-citizen event but urged older Americans to shelter if they feel unsafe.

“I’m working very hard so that you can kiss and hug your grandchildren again very soon,” he said.

Among his accomplishments, Trump mentioned an executive order he signed on July 24 authorizing states to import prescription drugs from Canada at lower prices than are available in the United States.

DeSantis had pushed a version of the plan through the Florida Legislature and encouraged the president to hop on board, but Canada has given no indication it will cooperate with the plan.

“Ron is going to buy from Canada and he’s just cut your price in half,” Trump asserted, nevertheless.

He addressed the governor, who was in the audience: “When are you starting that, Ron? When do you think you’ll start?” DeSantis’ response wasn’t audible over a White House video feed. “When? Very soon,” the president summed up.

The president threw barbs at the “radical left” Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on several points including health care.

“We must not let them bring their lethal and deadly agenda to America,” Trump said.

He said CVS and Walgreens pharmacies have agreed to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine he’s promised by the end of the year. Unfortunately for that pledge, Pfizer Inc. announced as Trump was preparing to take the stage that it could not meet the president’s election day deadline, according to a Politico report.

Michael Moline
Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.