A controversial 2024 presidential campaign ad for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has been quietly deleted from Twitter less than 48 hours after the candidate defended the ad as “totally fair game” even as it garnered widespread criticism from both sides of the aisle as being homophobic.
The campaign ad was released by the unofficial Twitter account DeSantis War Room and then shared by the governor’s presidential campaign, which shows Trump saying he would “do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens” in 2016 (despite never making good on his promises) and expressing support for transgender women using female bathrooms and competing in Miss Universe, contrasted against DeSantis’ policies targeting transgender and LGBTQ rights in the state of Florida.
The ad also splices in clips of various television programs and films, including Patrick Bateman from American Psycho (played by Christian Bale), Achilles from Troy (played by Brad Pitt), and Tommy Shelby from Peaky Blinders (played by Cillian Murphy).
Also featured are a set of photoshopped “Chad” stock photos of ultra-buff, hyper-masculine men, popular in right-wing online circles to represent agreeable viewpoints.
As of Friday afternoon, the DeSantis War Room’s tweet is still up on Twitter, but the video and link have been deleted.
To wrap up “Pride Month,” let’s hear from the politician who did more than any other Republican to celebrate it…
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) June 30, 2023
“Hmm…this page doesn’t exist. Try searching for something else,” a Twitter message reads with an additional messaging noting the tweet was deleted: “Sorry, that Tweet has been deleted.”
The DeSantis campaign ad garnered widespread criticism, with out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg saying he “do[esn’t] understand the mentality of somebody who gets up in the morning, thinking that he’s going to prove his worth by competing over who can make life hardest for a hard-hit community, that is already so vulnerable in America.”
Some on the right also slammed the ad, with Log Cabin Republicans—a group representing LGBTQ conservatives—calling the ad’s message “divisive and desperate,” Caitlyn Jenner saying the governor had “hit a new low” and Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) telling the Hill that while he “used to think [DeSantis] was a great governor,” he’s now “starting to think differently.”
You can watch a reposting of the original ad, below:
Ron DeSantis' campaign has quietly deleted its vile, homophobic campaign ad after receiving almost universal condemnations for it. pic.twitter.com/vaDjjRHVNZ
— TheGailyGrind 🏳️🌈 (@thegailygrind) July 7, 2023