WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In an unprecedented move, WPTV and other news media weren't allowed inside the venue where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an elections bill into law Thursday. The event was billed as a Fox News exclusive.
The governor's office didn't send out its usual news release to announce the event.
The Palm Beach Post discovered the event was happening based off a tip from a promotional flier.
During a news conference in Panama City Beach hours later, DeSantis called it a "wonderful bill signing" and said he was happy to give Fox News the exclusive on national television.
"It was live on national television on 'Fox & Friends,' and we were happy to give them the exclusive on that. And I think it went really, really well," DeSantis said.
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U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who recently announced his own candidacy for the governor's mansion, called out DeSantis for barring media from the signing.
This is the difference between @GovRonDeSantis and me. He locks out the public and caters to FOX News. When I was Governor, everyone was invited in — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. And when I'm Governor again, this will be a Florida for all. https://t.co/o7IuDJaYAN— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 6, 2021
As he left the event, DeSantis was asked by reporters why he chose to keep it a secret.
"It was on national TV," he said. "It wasn't a secret."