MSNBC’s Phang Uses Debut Weekend to Plug Crist Against ‘Hard-Right’ DeSantis

On her new weekend show, MSNBC host Katie Phang did her part to push for the defeat of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as she trashed the Florida Republican’s agenda as “hard right,” and provided a softball forum for his likely opponent, political turncoat and Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL).

On Saturday’s eponymous show, she provided a forum to two Democratic state legislators — Michele Raynor and Jason Pizzo — to complain about the recently passed parental rights bill, deriding it as the “don’t say gay” law. Phang started the segment by pointing out that Alabama and Ohio have passed bills that were “disturbingly alike.”

They soon joined:



The “don’t tell gay” bill doesn’t stand out. Republicans in Florida are focused on the hard-right populist policies that have caused the most division in the country in recent years. A bill nicknamed the “Stop WOKE Act” would prevent workplaces or schools from making people feel, “discomfort” when it comes to topics like racism. Then there is the newly enacted law that bans transgender girls playing female sports.

Phang stated that these laws were meant to protect the school staff from imposition of views against students’ will. She also suggested Republicans are being hypocritical, adding: “This is coming out of the party that advocates limited government and freedom to speech.”

Then, she brought along her Democratic friends to inquire about their opposition to Republicans in Florida.

On Sunday, Phang invited Crist to live on-air as a guest in order to support his “nice guy” campaign against Governor DeSantis who she called “bullying”. The segment was started by the MSNBC host.

As many of you are aware, I live in Miami and had an interesting conversation yesterday with several state legislators regarding how Florida became the center of America’s culture warfare. Republican Don — Ron DeSantis has led the Sunshine State in adopting some of America’s most divisive, hard right policies. I would like to ask: What can Democrats do?

As she asked questions to her Democratic guest, he only got one pressing question from the left. He wondered if Democrats had been too kind to Republicans in comparison to them and if he would be hurt by his past as a Republican.



[T]here’s been criticism that the Democrats just don’t take the gloves off — that they’re not fighting back as aggressively and as tough as they should be and that’s not just local politics — that’s nationally. Is it possible that voters will like the “nice guy”, which you advocate?

Phang observed that Governor DeSantis did not respond to her invitation. But, given his negative treatment from MSNBC and her, it’s not surprising that DeSantis would not have wasted his time by showing up to be badgered.

The Farmer’s Dog sponsored this new liberal MSNBC show. You can find their contact information here.

These transcripts are available:

MSNBC’sKatie Phang Show
April 9, 2022
Eastern Time: 7:30 AM

KATIE PHANG: So it may have sparked nationwide backlash, but that didn’t stop state lawmakers in Ohio and Alabama to move on bills this week that are Not so different from Florida’s controversial “don’t say gay” bill We know that the bill bans discussion on gender identity and gender in kindergarten to third grade. Governor Ron DeSantis signed the controversial bill in law, despite acknowledging that such conversations are rare in classrooms.

GOVERNOR ROY DESANTIS (R–FL) [on 02/07/22]To get in situations without your parent, you are hiding information from them. You’re also injecting ideas about who you want to be. It is unacceptable in schools and I do not support it. This is not something I believe in.

PHANG (He doesn’t believe it’s happening in large numbers). The “don’t be gay” bill doesn’t stand out. Republicans from Florida have focused laser on populist policies, which are divisive and hard right, that they believe will lead to division.. A bill nicknamed the “Stop WOKE Act” would prevent workplaces or schools from making people feel, “discomfort” when it comes to topics like racism. Then there is the newly enacted law that bans transgender girls playing female sports. This comes from the party which claims it stands for freedom and limited government.

Politico has dubbed Florida “ground zero in America’s culture warfares”, solely for its ability to rally the base ahead of the midterms. To what purpose? How can the Democrats fight back? Let’s discuss this with Jason Pizzo (State Senator) and Michele Raynor, the State Representative of Florida. We are grateful for your presence. Michele: I’ve listed the most notable recent examples but Record levels are being seen in book banning, as well as the mainstreaming and acceptance of abortion bans. How can Democrats combat this?


MSNBC’s Katie Phang’s Show
April 10, 2022
Eastern at 7:48

KATIE PHANG: As you know, I’m based in Miami, and yesterday, on our first show, I had a fascinating conversation with some state lawmakers about how Florida has become the epicenter of America’s culture wars. The Sunshine State, with Republican Don — Ron DeSantis as its leader, has taken up many of the country’s most divisive and hard-right policy positions. But I would like to ask: Can Democrats reverse this trend?

This gentleman believes he can. Florida Congressman Charlie Crist has once more run for Governor, this time as a Democrat. In 2009, Crist had been a Republican and introduced President Obama as governor. He was there to deliver a speech about his huge economic stimulus program. The two of them hugged for less than a second but their fellow Republicans were not happy. He received a lot backlash. He quit the party and claimed that his Republican career was over. The GOP evolved from Tea Party ideology to Trumpism by 2022. Civility took a backseat.

GOVERNOR ROY DESANTIS (R–FL): I want to be completely honest if Stacey Abrams wins the Georgia governorship. At that time, there will be a Cold War between Georgia and Florida. It’s not possible for me to have Castro to my South and Abrams my North. It would be an utter disaster.

DESANTIS: These masks don’t need to be worn. You must take the masks off. It’s really not doing anything and it must be stopped. You can wear it if that’s what you prefer, but otherwise, this is insane.

DESANTIS on Fox News Channel: — When you try to impose a woke philosophy upon our state. We view this as a serious threat. If this trend continues, the country will be destroyed by wokeness.

PHANG: This is the kind of rhetoric that makes Charlie Crist a “nice guy”. As PoliticoAs it is stated, “The bet in end is that Joe Biden’s playbook against Donald Trump can work again here with Crist and DeSantis 2022.” Will that be possible in Florida? DeSantis is reportedly the most popular Republican candidate to be elected president after Trump. He has raised over $100 million so far. We should note, we asked the governor to come on for an interview or to provide a statement. His response has yet to be received.

Charlie Crist (Democrat) is now with me. We are grateful to Congressman Crist for being with us today. Some Floridians believe that. I was disgusted at Governor DeSantis’s bullying behavior.You were told that. But you are well-known for your calm temperament and you have declared that you will be running on the principles of decency, mutual respect, two great principles. Cong — Do you truly believe that this is going to work? Do you plan to force the DeSantis beast to submit?


PHANG – Congressman. Can you give some detail about what you are planning to do for Democrats to combat policies such as the “don’t tell gay” and “Stop the WOKE,” bills and others, that have been approved by a GOP dominated Florida legislature?


PHANG, Congressman. You’ve probably heard about the divisions in politics. You’re probably more comfortable with this than what you had to deal with previously. It’s not like you thought. Some have complained that Democrats don’t fight back as aggressively as they ought to. and that’s not just local politics — that’s nationally. Are you sure that the “nice guy”, approach you are using is going to be a hit with voters right now?


You were then a Republican from 2010 to 2010. In 2012, you became a Democrat. You then became a Democrat in 2012.


PHANG – Although you lead the Democratic pack right now, it is for the first ever time in Florida that Congressman, and the first time Florida history, more Republicans are registered than Democrats. What are your plans to do about a problem that could end up for you?


PHANG : Maybe Congressman Charlie Crist should have you with Mickey Mouse at Disney World for your next photo op. [CRIST LAUGHS]That’ll surely get Ron DeSantis excited. Thanks for being here this Sunday morning.

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