On Sunday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended his call to ban pro-Palestinian groups from Florida state colleges after one of his Republican presidential primary opponents, Vivek Ramaswamy, called it “a shameful political ploy.”
It violates the Constitution. Ramaswamy, who has been outspoken in his opposition to what he calls the “left-wing cancel culture,” said on X (previously Twitter) on Thursday that the policy violates students’ freedom to free expression.
On Sunday, DeSantis stood firm.
That culture doesn’t go away like this. DeSantis stated during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the group in question “said, in the aftermath of the Hamas attack, that they don’t just stand in solidarity that they are part of this Hamas movement.”
You are free to demonstrate, but you must not aid terrorists in any way. They’ve allied with Hamas, the terrorist group. As a result, we completely discredited them. He also said, “They shouldn’t get a dime from the taxpayers,” citing a rule against providing support to terrorist groups.
Last week, DeSantis had Florida’s university chancellor, Ray Rodrigues, order state schools to disband local branches of Students for Justice in Palestine.
NBC’s Kristin Welker asked DeSantis on whether he had seen evidence that pro-Palestinian groups were providing such support, and he referred to protesters’ “words.”
“Their own words are saying they’re part of this organisation, that they’re not just standing in solidarity, that they’re not just supporting what they did, but that this is their movement, too,” he explained.