While campaigning in New Hampshire over the weekend, Mr DeSantis spoke to a group of supporters in the backyard of former Massachusettes Senator Scott Brown who hosted a barbecue for Mr DeSantis.
While there, the Florida governor addressed how he would handle problems that he sees in the federal government.
“We’re going to have all these deep state people, you know – we’re going to start slitting throats on day one,” Mr DeSantis said according to New Hampshire Public Radio.
It is unclear who exactly Mr DeSantis was speaking about when referring to the “deep state” but the phrase is commonly associated with a popular conspiracy theory that members of the federal government are working with corporation executives to control a message in the United States.
While Mr DeSantis was likely speaking metaphorically, his aggressive rhetoric raised concerns with some political observers.
“‘Slitting throats’?” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Journalist John Harwood called Mr DeSantis’ words “sick” and “dangerous.”
The Lincoln Project responded, “What.”
“Who says something like that?” former GOP congressman Joe Walsh wrote. “HE said something like that. He really said it. Look, I know cruelty sells in my former world of the right, but this is…this is such a bad thing to say.”
The Independent has reached out to Mr DeSantis’ campaign for comment.
Mr DeSantis also spoke about some of his other agendas like ending “the woke agenda”, which Mr DeSantis has heavily campaigned on thus far, and fighting back against Mexican drug cartels.
The Florida governor said if he were president he would enact an aggressive measure to handle them: "At the border they’re going to be shot stone cold dead."
New Hampshire Public Radio reported that Mr DeSantis’ language caused one GOP voter to raise some eyebrows toward the governor.
“If I was in charge of his PR, I would have said, ‘Don’t use that terminology,’” Norm Olsen, a voter told the radio station.
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