Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., told Newsmax on Monday that the Florida travel advisory issued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) over the weekend is "really, really dumb" and "all politics."
"My response is that's a stupid-a** statement," Donalds said during an appearance on Newsmax's "The Record with Greta Van Susteren." "I can't believe they said that. I don't know what they're doing."
"I just heard that the president of the NAACP lives in Tampa," he continued. "I mean, give me a break. Ladies and gentlemen, this is all politics by LULAC [League of United Latin American Citizens] and the NAACP. They know that their prospects of keeping the White House are very, very dim, very, very slim, and, at the end of the day, we can't continue to be dividing Americans like this."
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson admitted on Monday that the goal of the group's travel advisory is to get rid of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "once and for all."
The warning was issued Saturday by the national NAACP after the Florida branch sought such action two months ago. The advisory said that Florida "is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals."
Johnson told CNN that the move is intended to highlight DeSantis' policies.
"We didn't get here overnight," Johnson said on "CNN This Morning." "It was because of the election, so we have to prepare for the next election so we can get rid of him once and for all."
The NAACP accused DeSantis of "aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools."
DeSantis, a Republican, is widely expected to officially enter the 2024 presidential race this week.
Donalds said that, contrary to the NAACP's call to avoid Florida, Black Americans are choosing to move to the Sunshine State "because they want to be free too."
"They want a sound environment to raise their kids, grow their businesses and just build their wealth and chase the American dream," he said.
"Florida is what California used to be before the Democrats destroyed the place," Donalds said. "So let's be very clear: what the NAACP is saying is really, really dumb, and if they want to talk about issuing travel advisories, they probably need to start looking at Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City."
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