WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried said there is one word that comes to mind when she thinks of current Gov. Ron DeSantis.
"Dictator," Fried told WPTV's Michael Williams during an interview Friday in advance of Sunday's "To the Point."
"Harsh language, some would say," Williams said.
"Not at all," Fried replied. "Look at what he's doing. He's spent the last three-and-a-half years taking power, limiting people's rights to vote, scapegoating communities, taking away women's rights to make a decision for her own body, making it harder to protest. Time and time again, everything he has done in the last three-and-a-half years of his administration is to gain power for one purpose and one purpose only — to run for president in 2024."
Williams asked Fried about a recent New York Post article titled, "Democrats only have themselves to blame for the rise of Ron DeSantis." In the article, the writer references Fried's claims that "Florida isn't a free state" and her comparison of DeSantis to Adolph Hitler, "in a lot of ways," which she made during a January interview.
"What I said, very clearly, was that a lot of the actions that Ron DeSantis has been taking mirror some of the actions that were taken by Hitler on his rise to power," Fried told Williams.
"But do you understand that, including among those of the Jewish faith, even the most remote comparison of Gov. Ron DeSantis, whatever your critique of him may be, to Hitler many see as beyond the pale?" Williams asked.
Fried, who is Jewish, pointed to the rise in anti-Semitism throughout the country, including Florida.
"We had individuals that were protesting out in our streets — neo-Nazis here in our state," she said. "We saw anti-Semitism in South Florida. We saw it in southwest Florida. Where's our governor? Where was he to denounce Nazi-ism? Still hasn't done so today. The fact is that this guy does not care about the people of our state and is doing everything possible to divide us, to teach hatred, to scapegoat parts of our state, and so I have to call out when I'm seeing somebody who is not doing what's in the best interest of our state."
Coming Saturday: Fried shares her thoughts about the Democratic primary, why she believes she's the best candidate for the job and why she's confident she'll win the nomination. Be sure to watch "To the Point" Sunday at 10 a.m. for the full interview.