WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Flags will be flown at half-staff in Florida in honor of Palm Beach resident and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.
Speaking during a news conference in West Palm Beach, the Republican governor took a moment to recognize Limbaugh, who died earlier this week at the age of 70.
"He was a friend of mine and just a great person," DeSantis said of Limbaugh.
DeSantis was joined by James Golden, also known by his radio show pseudonym, Bo Snerdley, for the announcement.
"I was telling the governor, I've been with Rush for a third of my life, for most of my adult life," Golden said.
Golden, who was a producer and screener on "The Rush Limbaugh Show," said losing Limbaugh has been "probably the most difficult thing that I've had to experience," with the exception of his parents.
"Rush is a second-generation founding father," Golden continued. "The seeds that he planted are going to sprout in America and continue to grow for generations and generations to come, and America will be great again, not just because of Rush, (but) because of men like -- and women -- but men like this governor."
His comments led to cheers and applause from the mostly maskless crowd in attendance.
DeSantis said funeral arrangements haven't been finalized, but "once the date of internment for Rush is announced, we're going to be lowering the flags to half-staff."
According to information on the governor's website, DeSantis "will, on rare and solemn occasions, direct the flags to be lowered to half-staff."
The designation is typically reserved for government figures, first responders who have died in the line of duty or in remembrance of tragic events.
State Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, criticized the decision, saying in a statement that DeSantis has "transformed this distinction into a partisan political tool to salute a man who served no other interests than his own and did his best to deeply divide a country along political fault lines."
"I condemn the governor's decision in no uncertain terms," Farmer, Democratic leader of the Florida Senate, added. "Any move to lower our flag in deference to a man who helped drive the hatred and inflame the prejudices against marginalized groups, people of color, women and anyone who did not look like him or think like him is wrong and should be rescinded. This is not who we are. This is not who we want to be."