on DeSantis skipped Joe Biden's tour of Hurricane Idalia's devastation because he believed it would impede recovery efforts.
Right-wing DeSantis, who trails front-runner Donald Trump in the battle for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has made criticizing Biden the centerpiece of his campaign.
In America's divided political landscape, presidential trips to disaster areas are typically a rare source of bipartisan collaboration. Thus, DeSantis's position earned him some criticism.
When asked about his rival's absence, Biden responded that he was not surprised by the outcome but appreciated that one of the state's two Republican senators, Rick Scott, was present.
He assured Floridians of the full backing of the federal government.
"As I've told your governor, if there's anything your state needs, I'm ready to mobilize that support," Biden said.
"Anything they need related to these storms. Your nation has your back, and we'll be with you until the job is done."
In a statement sent by the governor's office, it was said there were no plans for the meeting Biden had indicated he would have with DeSantis.
The Category 3 storm, Idalia, made landfall Wednesday morning along Florida's sparsely populated Big Bend region, causing significant flooding and devastation.
As he left Washington on Saturday morning, the media asked Biden about the meeting. "I don't know. He's not going to be there," Biden said.
The political rift between the two is a break from the recent events since Biden and DeSantis first met when the president visited Florida following Hurricane Ian last year and after the Surfside condo collapse in Miami Beach in the summer of 2021.
DeSantis, who is currently trying to succeed Biden, put aside the Republican presidential primary trail as Idalia was barreling toward his state.
Do you think DeSantis's decision is justified in skipping Biden's hurricane tour?
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