Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis held his first campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday as a Republican presidential candidate — and ended it by tripping over a reporter who asked him why he avoids taking questions at his events.
DeSantis posed for photos with attendees after the event when Associated Press reporter Steve Peoples approached him and asked him why he does not answer questions from people attending his campaign events.
DeSantis again did not take questions at Thursday’s event in Laconia, New Hampshire, breaking with tradition in the state where presidential candidates spend significant time in person with voters. That has long been part of New Hampshire’s argument for being the first in the nation to hold a presidential primary.
NBC News capture the tense moment on video.
“Why don’t you take questions from constituents, governor?” people could be heard asking as DeSantis posed for a photo.
“Governor, why don’t you answer questions from constituents?” he asked again.
As soon as he finished his picture, DeSantis lashed out at Peoples.
“People come to me, talk to me. What you mean? I’m here working with people. Are you blind? Are you blind?” said the governor.
“I’m not blind, no,” Peeples replied.
“Okay, so people come to me,” DeSantis said, “talking to me [about] whatever they want to talk to me about.
Congressman Ro Hanna, a progressive Democrat from California, later attacked DeSantis over the incident on Twitter.
“Free advice, Ron,” Kanna said. “In the Granite State, get rid of your entourage and stick around to answer every question. I know it’s a weird idea. But the state still believes in democracy in the town hall.