Gov. Ron DeSantis does not plan on meeting with President Joe Biden when the man he’s hoping to challenge in the 2024 election visits Florida on Saturday to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Idalia.
“We don’t have any plans for the Governor to meet with the President tomorrow,” Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for the Florida governor’s office, said in a statement to NBC News on Friday.
“In these rural communities, and so soon after impact, the security preparations alone that would go into setting up such a meeting would shut down ongoing recovery efforts,” he added.
That may come as news to the White House.
Earlier in the day, Biden said after remarks in the Rose Garden that he would be meeting with DeSantis during Saturday’s visit.
When reached for comment Friday night on why Biden said he was going to meet with DeSantis on Saturday, a White House official said: “The president informed the governor yesterday before his visit to FEMA. The governor did not express concerns at that time. The visit was closely coordinated with FEMA, state and local officials to ensure there is no impact to ongoing response operations.”
Biden first announced his intentions to travel to Florida when he visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
“I am going to Florida Saturday morning,” he told reporters at the time.
Biden and DeSantis, who is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, spoke by phone shortly before Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida as a Category 3 storm on Wednesday.
Since landfall, DeSantis has held multiple news conferences and toured storm damage in communities. His presidential campaign schedule has been on pause since Monday, citing the need to remain in Florida to help with preparations, response and recovery.