Ron DeSantis vs. Charlie Crist on veterans: Neither are that great

Have you had enough of Ron DeSantis vs. Charlie Crist yet?

Let’s hope not, because you’ve still got two more months of this stuff.

Today, we’re talking about both candidates and their track records on veterans issues. Obviously, I’m very attached on the issue.

Both candidates have experience as governors and members of congress.

Neither of them have been that great.

Ron DeSantis is himself, a decorated veteran. This shouldn’t even be a question. But under his watch, he left the position of the Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs empty for months…. During the pandemic. Then he named James “The Hammer” Hartsell, who seems more concerned about getting his nickname out there, and serves mostly as a cheerleader to DeSantis during press conferences. He nibbles around the edges of issues like suicide and homelessness because he thinks it will hurt the administration.

Charlie Crist was governor when many of the problems on veterans issues spiked in the late 2000s. Concerned with either being a VP candidate or a Senator, you seldom heard anything from the Crist administration on veterans affairs as the claims backlog skyrocketed. All of the problems that he could have proactively battled years ago, are still here today.

And both candidates have allowed veterans to be used as pawns in the teacher shortage debate. While DeSantis’ push to have us fill the shortfall would have been great, he used it as a talking point against Crist and the teacher unions, turning them against us. Crist took the bait and allowed this hurtful narrative to continue.

On the positive side, Casey DeSantis has presented her veterans programs better than her husband. Announcing them in a dignified fashion for what they are. Ways to help veterans.

And Crist has campaign surrogates, including some here in the Orlando area, that have done very well by veterans. We need more of them.

But as far as the campaign goes, they’ve cancelled each other out. And that’s not good for Florida veterans.

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