Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited a New York City pizzeria and helped out in the kitchen months after former President Donald Trump said the governor would be working “at a pizzeria” without his help.
DeSantis, Trump’s main Republican opponent in the 2024 presidential election, visited Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and touted the benefits of coal-fired pizza ovens in an appearance that aired Thursday on Fox News. Jesse Watters Primetime. According to host Watters, the Florida governor asked to visit the pizzeria with him after hearing about New York’s alleged plan to ban charcoal and wood-fired pizza ovens.
While there is no plan to ban ovens, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection has proposed a rule, which is not finalized, that may force restaurants that use some older ovens to install devices that would reduce particulate emissions, which can be harmful to the environment and people’s health.
Sharing a pizza with Watters, DeSantis argued that the proposed regulation was evidence that “the left” wants to “control behavior.” He also touched on the gas stove controversy earlier this year, when several prominent conservatives erroneously claimed that the government was “coming for” the stoves.
“They just want to control,” DeSantis told Watters. “You have itchiness on the left side, they want to control behavior… We say the same thing with COVID; a lot of it wasn’t about your health, it was about [them] Want to control your behavior. They just don’t want people to be happy and make their own decisions.”
“They were going after gas stoves in Florida,” he continued. “We made them duty free. We may have to do some incentives for charcoal-fired pizza, because you know what? We’ll take it.”
Shortly before sitting down for pizza and an interview with Watters, the Florida governor was shown talking to the Fox News host and one of the pizzeria’s co-owners in the kitchen before personally helping to pop a pie into the oven.
Three months earlier, during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump said that DeSantis “would be working at a pizza place or a law firm right now” if Trump hadn’t helped him win the gubernatorial election of Florida in 2018.
When asked to comment on the footage of DeSantis helping out at the pizzeria, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said news week that “President Trump is always right.”
Cheung was not the only one to make the connection between the governor’s appearance on Fox News and Trump’s earlier comment. Others who mocked the moment on social media included Trump’s campaign adviser. jason miller and former federal prosecutor Ron Filipkowski, who shared a video splicing together Trump’s and DeSantis’ comments in the oven.
“This primary is over,” Filipkowski commented as he tweeted the video. “Trump owns DeSantis.”
Others who expressed their disapproval of New York’s proposed charcoal-fired pizza oven regulation included Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who stated in a video that the government was “coming for the coal-fired pizzerias” and threatened to “come for their throats” and “never let them go until I squeeze the life out of them” if they targeted a particular restaurant.
The backlash was even more extreme on Monday, when artist and right-wing activist Scott LoBaido delivered a fiery speech meant to “wake up” lawmakers outside New York City Hall, before hurling slices of pizza over a door and yelling: ” Give us pizza.” or give us death!”
news week has reached out to DeSantis’ campaign online for comment.