Pastors call for apology from DeSantis after comment

They take issue with phrase involving the word 'monkey'

By Jake Stofan - Tallahassee corespondent

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Outrage is growing over comments made by GOP Gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis on Fox News about his opponent Andrew Gillum.  

DeSantis took the first shots Gillum just one day after the primary.

“Lets build on the success of Governor Scott. The last thing we need to do is monkey this up,” said DeSantis.

The comment was perceived as racist by many. 

It spurred outrage and captured national headlines.

Now a group of faith leaders in the state capital are joining the cries for an apology from the Congressman.

“The term monkey from our Afrocentric psychological, theological perspective is highly offensive,” said Reverend R.B. Holmes with Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.

Pastors believe that DeSantis misspoke and that the comment wasn’t intentionally racist, nonetheless they think he should still apologize.

“All of us know the value of repentence and the importance of forgiveness and I call upon him to repent,” said Pastor Brant Copeland with First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee.

Earlier in the week Gillum addressed DeSantis’ remarks on network television saying he didn’t need an apology for himself.

“He needs to apologize to Florida voters because if he thinks that those kind of shenanigans are going to be persuasive enough in this midterm election to turn this their way, I think he's badly mistaken,” said Gillum.

The comments haven’t been all bad for Guilim, they fueled $1 million in campaign contributions in a single day and the money is likely to keep flowing in from both in and out of state.

DeSantis has denied any racial intent to his statements on Fox. 

He has so far refused to apologize, calling the reaction from the left manufactured outrage.

News Service of Florida