Sep 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Christie criticizes DeSantis for not seeing Biden during hurricane visit

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, shakes hands following a press conference in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia on August 31, 2023 in Steinhatchee, Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shakes hands following a press conference in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia on Aug. 31 in Steinhatchee, Florida. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ripped into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for not meeting with President Biden during his visit to Florida to survey damage from Hurricane Idalia.

Driving the news: "Your job as governor is to be the tour guide for the president, is to make sure the president sees your people, sees the damage, sees the suffering, what's going on and what's going to need to be done to rebuild it," Christie said Tuesday on Fox News.

  • "You're doing your job. And unfortunately, he put politics ahead of his job," Christie said.
  • Christie was criticized by some of his Republican colleagues in 2012, when he praised then-President Obama for his handling of Hurricane Sandy.
  • A spokesperson for DeSantis' campaign did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on Christie's remarks.

The big picture: Biden arrived in Florida on Saturday to survey damage from the Category 3 storm that hit the state's Gulf Coast last week, causing widespread flooding and damage.

  • Biden originally had said that he would meet with DeSantis during his visit to Florida, but the governor's office said that there were "no plans" for the pair to meet.
  • "In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts," Jeremy Redfern, the governor's press secretary, said on Friday, per the New York Times.

Between the lines: Christie, a former Trump ally, has been an outspoken critic of the former president throughout the 2024 campaign, including blasting him for not participating in the first Republican primary debate.

  • The former New Jersey governor has previously criticized DeSantis over his feud with Disney.

Go deeper: Top 5 reasons Idalia stands apart from other storms

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