People waving Nazi swastika flags gather outside the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday, where the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit was being held. (Photo: Marco Bello via Reuters)
Organizers of a right-wing conference in Florida have denounced a group of neo-Nazis waving swastika flags outside the rally – but the convention’s chairman, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, didn’t say a thing word.
Neo-Nazis waving large red flags emblazoned with swastikas and SS symbols gathered outside the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday and shouted racial slurs. They also waved the Florida flag and another with the slogan “DeSantis Country” – along with a poster featuring DeSantis’ face.
Gaetz said in her speech that ugly women shouldn’t complain about the loss of 50 years of abortion rights following the scuttling of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court because they are the the “least” likely to be impregnated by apparently repulsed men.
Greene said the The GOP should become a “Christian nationalist” party.
Still, a Turning Point spokesperson insisted in a statement on Sunday that the group “100% condemns” neo-Nazi ideologies “in the strongest terms.” Representative Andrew Kolvet said in a statement that neo-Nazis had “nothing to do” with the organization.
“Since these individuals were on public property, our security attempted to remove them, but were not authorized. We have no idea who they are or why they were here,” the statement added.
Florida Holocaust Museum President Mike Igel said in a statement that the neo-Nazi protest represented “a direct threat” to the Jewish community in the zone.
“To carry the Nazi flag, or that of the SS, the unit responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Holocaust, is an indefensible act of pure hatred,” he added. “It’s not about politics or religion. It is a question of humanity.
Tampa Jewish Community Centers and the Federation contacted local and regional law enforcement, who “engaged in additional patrols of Jewish institutions across Tampa,” the group said in a statement, WFLA-News Channel 8 reported.
On Sunday, Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state agriculture commissioner Nikki Fried challenged DeSantis to say anything negative about neo-Nazis.
“I’m asking you, Ron DeSantis, to expose the Nazis who were here, here to celebrate your speech inside this convention center“, Fried said. “They were holding your pictures yesterday.”
DeSantis instead hailed the “freedom-loving youth” in the “Florida Free State.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.