Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Faces Criticism for Lack of Interpersonal Skills and Alleged Involvement in Torture at Guantanamo Bay

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is facing criticism from fellow politicians and former detainees at Guantanamo Bay for his alleged lack of interpersonal skills and involvement in the force-feeding of prisoners during his time as a legal advisor at the infamous military prison. Politico reports that former Republican Congressman David Trott claims DeSantis never introduced himself or said hello during their time serving together on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[0] Trott also alleges that DeSantis never spoke to him despite sitting next to him for two years. Similarly, Congressman Greg Steube, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, claims that he has not heard from DeSantis since a tree-trimming accident left him in the ICU.[1]

These claims are supported by former Guantanamo detainee Mansoor Adayfi, who alleges that DeSantis was present for the force-feeding of Al Qaeda captives, which is designated as torture by the United Nations. DeSantis has vehemently denied these accusations, claiming that they are an attempt to fit a pre-ordained narrative.

DeSantis is also facing criticism for his alleged lack of personal touch with his political colleagues. Anna Paulina Luna, a Republican congresswoman from Florida, claims that when her father died in a car accident, Trump sent her a personal condolence letter, while DeSantis’s wife, Casey, sent a letter signed only by her.[2] Luna praises Trump’s personal approach to interfacing with the Florida delegation, saying that he takes the time to get to know the people he will be working with, while DeSantis allegedly does not.[1]

Trott believes that DeSantis’s lack of interpersonal skills is hindering his political career, stating that “kind of a fundamental skill that you should have is likability. I don’t think [he] has that.”[0] Trott claims that DeSantis is “an arrogant guy, very focused on Ron DeSantis,” and that he never developed any relationships with other members of Congress.[3]

These criticisms come at a time when DeSantis is rumored to be considering a run for the presidency in 2024. While he has gained popularity among Republicans for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his conservative policies, these allegations of a lack of interpersonal skills and involvement in torture could damage his chances of gaining support from the wider electorate.

0. “Another Republican Calls Out Ron DeSantis’ Likability Issues” UPROXX, 21 Apr. 2023, https://uproxx.com/viral/ron-desantis-disney-feud-a-hole-not-likable/

1. “‘I don’t think he cares about people’: DeSantis struggles with former Hill colleagues” POLITICO, 21 Apr. 2023, https://www.politico.com/news/2023/04/21/i-dont-think-he-cares-about-people-desantis-struggles-with-former-hill-colleagues-00093281

2. “All of Ron DeSantis’s Crimes Against Good Etiquette” New York Magazine, 27 Apr. 2023, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/ron-desantiss-etiquette.html

3. “DeSantis Finds Out Being an ‘Asshole’ Has Its Downsides When You’re Running for President” VICE, 21 Apr. 2023, https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxj5a4/ron-desantis-likability-problem-lawmaker-endorsements

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