FACT CHECK: Did Ron DeSantis Say Leadership Is About ‘Fooling The Voters?’

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Twitter purports to show Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis saying, “Leadership is about fooling the voters.”

Verdict: False

The video appears to be a “deepfake.” There is no evidence DeSantis made the purported remark.

Fact Check:

DeSantis advocated for more cooperation with South Korea Wednesday while visiting Seoul, according to Reuters. DeSantis’ South Korea visit follows a recent stop he made to Japan ahead of his anticipated 2024 presidential run, The Associated Press reported.

The Twitter video, viewed over 18,000 times, purports to show DeSantis say, “Leadership is about fooling the voters.” “It’s about book deals and globalism. Leadership is about getting ahead, no matter who you stab in the back. In my America the highest bidder wins. That’s the leadership America needs. Hail Hydra!” DeSantis appears to continue while standing at a podium.

The claim is false. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports indicating DeSantis made the purported remark. Likewise, the Republican Governor did not make the remark during any of his recent public appearances, including the New Hampshire Republican State Committee’s 2023 Amos Tuck Dinner. In addition, the purported remark can neither be found on DeSantis’ website nor on his verified social media accounts.

The video appears to be a “deepfake.” DeSantis’ lips move in an odd manner while he speaks during the brief clip. Furthermore, the phrase “Hail Hydra” also brings the video’s authenticity into question. (RELATED: Did Ron DeSantis Say The People ‘Will Have No Choice’ But To Accept Him As Their ‘Assigned Candidate?’)

The phrase “Hail Hydra” is a reference to a criminal organization in the Marvel Comics franchise. The organization “has historically been used as an allegory for the Nazi Party,” according to a research paper from the University of Puget Sound.

Check Your Fact has contacted DeSantis’ office for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


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