While bashing Democratic governance, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed at Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate that he and his wife, Casey, had met “three people who had been mugged on the street” in southern California. By Sunday — just four days later — that number has doubled.
“My wife and I ran into six or seven people that had been mugged in the last year in southern California,” DeSantis told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo during an appearance on Sunday Morning Futures. If only his poll numbers could grow at this same rate, DeSantis might stand a chance at defeating Donald Trump.
This isn’t the first time DeSantis has appeared to use questionable crime numbers. This year he has often boasted that Florida’s crime levels are at a 50-year low. But that statistic is reportedly based on incomplete data, and according to the CDC, Florida has a higher homicide mortality rate per 100,00 people than California.
Data from The Marshall Project, a nonprofit outlet that covers criminal justice, shows that almost half of Florida is not included in the estimate DeSantis has frequently cited. “About half of the agencies that police more than 40% of the state’s population are missing from figures the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) used for a state-wide estimation,” The Marshall Project reported.
“The ethics of what we were reporting, we knew the numbers were bad,” a former FDLE employee told NBC News. “We foot-stomped it to leadership over and over again; they did not care. They did not care.”
While on Sunday Morning Futures, Bartiromo also asked DeSantis about potentially serving as vice president to Donald Trump, should the former president earn the Republican nomination. Trump currently leads the GOP pack by a substantial margin.
Ahead of asking the question, Bartiromo showed a clip of Trump this week saying of his Republican rivals, “We’re competing with the job candidates. They’re all running for a job. They’re all job candidates. They’ll do anything. Secretary of something, they even say VP. Does anybody see any VP in the group? I don’t think so.”
“No, I’m running for president,” DeSantis told Bartiromo, brushing off the suggestion that he might accept the number two spot.