Presidential hopeful and Florida Governor Ron Desantis’ recent military comment about “levelling” the Bahamas appeared to be no more than an analogy gone wrong.
While at a campaign event in Iowa on Sunday, he expressed unwavering support for Israel as it battles Hamas, describing the daily life of Israelis living under constant rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Palestine.
However, in an analogy, he used the Bahamas as an example based on the country’s proximity to Florida.
He stated, “What are you supposed to do? I mean, I used to say even when they (Hamas)would just fire the normal rockets because they’ve been firing these rockets for years and years. And I thought to myself, like, if the Bahamas were firing rockets into Fort Lauderdale, like, we would not accept that for, like, one minute. I mean, we would just level it. We would never be willing to live like that as Americans,” DeSantis said.
The comment, reported by the Nassau Guardian and shared on social media caught some Bahamians by surprise, with many expressing shock since the thought of the Bahamas at war with the USA is an unconceivable notion.
But Desantis seemed no ill-intent. The hypothetical scenario was perhaps used to woo his GOP base where the Florida governor, who was praised as the face of the post-Trump-era Republican Party is now struggling to revive his flailing campaign with a hardline support for Isreal.
“What rockets we have though?… Ain’t nobody on his run,” a Bahamian citizen posted to social media. “How [did] we get in this?”
Darcy Moss asked, “We gat rockets eh?”
James Tivy added, “What a buffoon.” How many rockets do the Bahamas have? I’d guess none.”
One American citizen stated on Reddit, “Great, so we know now [that] you’re advertising that you’re unfit for president.”
Another stated, “I’m trying to imagine a hostile Bahamas. I’m also trying to imagine a world where Ron controls military equipment.”
“Life in Florida is never boring,” another stated.
Some Bahamians understood that it was just an analogy.
Scott Lowe said, “[He is] clearly trying to justify Isreal’s actions against Hamas by using a metaphor and not making threatening comments about the Bahamas specifically.”
And Citizens for Better Commonwealth of the Bahamas posted, “[I am ]highly doubtful that this was said in this context. But let’s be honest, if they did fire rockets at the Bahamas (hypothetically speaking) wouldn’t we want our government to do the same?”
The Bahamas and the USA share a strong diplomatic, historical, and economic tie, closer than any other country in the region.
The US Embassy in Nassau expressed “regret” for Desantis’ comment.