Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is going after CBS’s “60 Minutes” following the network’s reporting on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Reporter Sharyn Alfonsi pressed DeSantis during Monday’s press conference on whether he made a deal with the grocery store chain Publix to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to wealthier communities.
On Tuesday the governor claimed the network “cut out everything that showed that their narrative was a piece of horse manure.”
DeSantis explained, “It shows you how dishonest… these are smear merchants, that’s why nobody trusts corporate media. They are a disaster in what they’re doing. They knew what they were doing was a lie. I knew what they were doing was a lie.”
Watch his remarks below:
"They cut out everything that showed that their narrative was a piece of horse manure…— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 6, 2021
I know corporate media thinks that they can just run over people– you ain't running over this governor. I'm punching back."@GovRonDeSantis slams the "smear merchants" in the media. pic.twitter.com/TgdawuutBt
Alfonsi suggested on Monday, “Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign, and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccination in Palm Beach.”
DeSantis responded, “So first of all what you’re saying is wrong. That’s a fake narrative.”
He later reiterated, “It’s wrong, it’s a fake narrative. I just disabused you of the narrative and you don’t care about the facts because obviously I laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable. So clearly it’s not.”
During “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” DeSantis argued his words during the segment were “deceptively edited” to make it seem his agreement with Publix was nothing more than paying a corporate political donor back.
A spokesperson for Publix said there is no connection between campaign contributions and the “willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state’s vaccine distribution efforts.”
The governor continued on Tuesday, “I know corporate media thinks that they can just run over people — you ain’t running over this governor. I’m punching back.”
Discussing the deal with Publix, DeSantis argued it would have been “malpractice” to cut the chain out of assisting with the vaccine rollout.
“What they’re saying is a total crock that somehow only Publix was getting it. It is nonsense and we told them it was that and they cut it out, they spliced it because they can’t handle the truth,” DeSantis added.
A CBS News spokesman told Axios that “60 Minutes” asked twice to interview DeSantis. The spokesperson said, “As we always do for clarity, ’60 Minutes’ used the portion of the Governor’s over 2-minute response that directly addressed the question from the correspondent.”