Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele on Sunday accused Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of “blasphemy” over his campaign ad, which compared him to a prophet sent by God.
During an appearance on MSNBC The Sunday showhost Jonathan Capehart spoke with Steele about DeSantis’ political campaign ad, which was tweeted by his wife Casey DeSantis on Friday.
A voiceover can be heard throughout the announcement, which was viewed more than 2.4 million times on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, saying “on the eighth day, God despised his intended paradise and said:” I need a protector”. So God made a fighter.”
Steele told Capehart that the ad was “one of the most backward profanities I’ve ever heard in my life” and that it was “one of the dumbest political ads you can do.”
The incumbent governor, who is running in this year’s midterm elections against former Florida governor and Democratic nominee Charlie Crist in the state gubernatorial race, is leading in some polls. FiveThirtyEight’s polling average currently shows DeSantis with a 10.7-point advantage over his Democratic opponent, with 53.3% support to Crist’s 42.6%.
Another poll by Spectrum News/Siena, which was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1, showed DeSantis held a lead over Crist with 54 percent support from likely voters to Crist’s 42 percent. The poll surveyed 659 likely voters and has a margin of error of 4.4%.
Still, Steele found DeSantis’ political campaign announcement “insulting” despite the governor’s popularity among Florida voters.
A September poll from the University of Suffolk and USA TODAY found that DeSantis had a 53% approval rating among Floridians, and about 52% of state residents had a generally favorable opinion of him. About 42% had an unfavorable opinion of the governor.
“But that tells you what this white Christian nationalism is about — that’s who it appeals to,” Steel said on Sunday. “It doesn’t appeal to people who go to church on Sunday, people who actually read the Bible. Eighth day, really? Lots of church? Seriously, eighth day?”
He continued: “This idea, oh, God needs a protector…what the hell are you talking about? Oh, God needs someone who’s going to come out and defend and challenge the status quo. You’ve heard of it before of a man named Jesus “I don’t need Ron DeSantis to be the Christ. I just need him to be governor, and that’s the problem. These idiots, they mix it all up and think they’re one.”
Dr. Paul D. Miller, professor of international business practice and co-chair of global politics and security at Georgetown University, explained in a 2021 article for Christianity today that Christian nationalism is a belief that America is defined by Christianity and that the government should take “active steps to make it so”.
Several GOP lawmakers, such as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, appear to lean toward the trend of “Christian nationalism,” which analysts see rising among conservatives nationwide.
On Sunday, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, denounced a pro-Donald Trump rally on Friday in Branson, Missouri, where attendees touted the sentiment of “Christian nationalism.”
“As a Christian, let me say again, this is a mass and senseless delusion. Pastors must condemn Christian Nationalism, this is the same as the Taliban,” the GOP lawmaker tweeted. , sharing a clip from the ReAwaken America event that was originally posted on Twitter by former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski.
More than 3,000 people attended the event, according to the Branson Tri-Lakes News, and at one point a speaker on stage told them to believe the GOP was “going to have a victory on Tuesday” in an apparent effort to rally voters. for Tuesday’s election, according to the video shared by the former federal prosecutor.
The person then asked the crowd to “let out a shout of victory” by hitting the ground seven times with imaginary arrows. Filipkowski said it was an attempt “to call on God to bring victory to the Republican Party midterm.”
Newsweek contacted DeSantis’ media office for comment.