Biden responds to criticism from Gov. Ron DeSantis: ‘Governor who?’

President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a meeting in Miami Beach Florida on July 1, 2021 following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside.
President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a meeting in Miami Beach Florida on July 1 following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden was asked Thursday about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s criticism of the President as part of an ongoing war of words between the two.

“What is your response to Governor DeSantis, who is using your words about ‘don’t be in the way’ and he’s saying ‘I am in the way, to block too much interference from the federal government.’ Your response, Mr. President?” asked Kelly O’Donnell, an NBC White House reporter.

“Governor who?” quipped Biden as onlookers laughed. “That’s my response.”

Biden’s comments are the latest in a war of words with the Florida governor. At a press conference on Tuesday, Biden singled out the governors of Florida and Texas – though not by name – criticizing the governors’ handling of COVID-19 in their respective states.

“I say to these governors, please help. If you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives,” he said. DeSantis, a Republican, signed an order last week prohibiting masks from being required in schools and threatening to strip funding from schools that do so.

DeSantis fired back on Wednesday.

“Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure, and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you,” he said at a press conference.

Biden made the remarks following an event on the South Lawn of the White House where he signed a new executive order that aims to make electric vehicles comprise half of all new vehicles sold in 2030.

He then hopped into an electric Jeep Wrangler, taking it for a test drive around the lawn as the press corps chased after him.