Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told podcaster Joe Rogan not to apologize to the “mob.” Rogan issued an apology amid a scandal over viral video, where he was heard saying the N-word 24 times.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images; Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
- Popular podcast host Joe Rogan said he thought DeSantis would make a good president.
- The Republican governor has defended the podcast host in the past.
- DeSantis is up for reelection in 2022 and hasn’t said if he’s running for president.
The high-profile fan base of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just got bigger.
Joe Rogan, the world’s No. 1 most-listened podcaster, said Tuesday that he thinks the 43-year-old Republican governor “would work as a good president.”
“What he’s done for Florida has been admirable,” Rogan said in an episode of his “Joe Rogan Experience” show when Daily Wire actress Gina Carano asked who he might want to see run for the White House in 2024. He described DeSantis as “not perfect” but said he stood “up for freedoms.”
Rogan also referred to President Joe Biden, 79, as a “dead man” when discussing the state of the US.
Rogan’s comments are likely to add to speculation that DeSantis would run for president in 2024 even though the Florida governor has repeatedly said he’s focused on his 2022 race for reelection in Florida.
Earlier this month, DeSantis beat former President Donald Trump in a straw poll of self-identified conservative conference-goers at the Western Conservative Summit who were asked who they’d like to be the 2024 presidential nominee. A Morning Consult poll out Wednesday also showed growing support for DeSantis.
DeSantis tends to brush off questions about 2024 when asked, though last week he said he thought the presidential speculation was aimed at detracting from the losses that Democrats are expected to face in the midterms in November.
Rogan is just the latest high-profile figure to heap praise on DeSantis.
Last week, pundit Piers Morgan called on Republicans to “dump” Trump and support DeSantis, and earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he’d likely support DeSantis for president in 2024.
DeSantis’ COVID response got Rogan’s attention
During his podcast, Rogan said his support for DeSantis was largely because of the governor’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeSantis prohibited schools and workplaces from forcing workers to vaccinate as a condition of employment, and from forcing children to wear masks in schools. He stressed that the state should focus on the most vulnerable populations.
“I feel like what he did for Florida, a lot of people gave him a lot of grief, but ultimately he was correct,” Rogan said. “He was correct when it comes to deaths, he was correct. And when it comes to protecting all vulnerable populations, he was correct in terms of distribution of monoclonal antibodies.”
DeSantis sparked national backlash when he pushed for COVID patients to take monoclonal antibodies even though federal officials said they weren’t effective against the Omicron strain of the coronavirus that was circulating at the time. DeSantis shot back that most patients and doctors don’t know which strain of the virus they had.
Rogan holds several politically liberal positions, including on abortion and drug legalization. But he has drawn criticism for his willingness to interview controversial people on his podcast and for saying that young and healthy people didn’t need the COVID-19 vaccine. (He later walked back the comments and said he was not opposed to the vaccine and encouraged people to get it.)
Rogan appeared to touch on the controversy more broadly in his Tuesday podcast.
“There was some weird gaslighting shit that went on,” he said, “where people equated freedom and saying the word freedom to like right-wing bigotry and hate is so strange.”
DeSantis in turn has defended Rogan before. In February, he said Rogan shouldn’t “kow to the mob” and apologize after a video montage went viral of Rogan using a racial slur on his podcast.