- Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried compared Gov. Ron DeSantis to a “dictator.”
- “Actions that Ron DeSantis has been taking mirror some of the actions that were taken by Hitler on his rise to power,” Fried said.
- Fried has been vocal about her opposition to DeSantis and his policy decisions.
Florida gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried compared Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to a “dictator” and doubled down on an assertion that DeSantis’ actions were comparable to Hitler’s.
“What I said, very clearly, was that a lot of the actions that Ron DeSantis has been taking mirror some of the actions that were taken by Hitler on his rise to power,” Fried said in a television interview with WPTV, a local station in West Palm Beach, Florida.
She was also asked about previous statements she made comparing DeSantis’ policies to Hitler’s, including the governor’s proposal for a state-level civilian military unit.
When pushed back on these statements, Fried, who is Jewish, said that DeSantis has also failed to denounce neo-nazis amid recent neo-nazi demonstrations in Florida.
DeSantis denounced the controversy during a press conference in January, saying that Democrats used the demonstrations for political gain.
“So what I’m going to say is these people, these Democrats who are trying to use this as some type of political issue to try to smear me as if I had something to with do that, we’re not playing their game,” DeSantis said.
Fried, Florida’s current agriculture commissioner, has been vocal about her opposition to DeSantis and is running against him as a Democrat in the midterms this year. She criticized Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill as censorship and held an event at the Florida Capitol to honor transgender and abortion rights activists in opposition to DeSantis’ policies.
“He’s spent the last three-and-a-half years taking power, limiting people’s rights to vote, scapegoating communities, taking away women’s rights to make a decision for her own body, making it harder to protest,” Fried told WPTV interviewer Michael Williams.
Fried is the only Democrat currently elected to public office in the state of Florida. She announced her run for governor in June of 2021. She is one of a few Democrats vying to take on DeSantis in the midterms. Florida’s primary election is on August 23.
DeSantis and Fried did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.