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Florida Governor and 2024 presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis listens to his wife Casey DeSantis speak during a campaign stop at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, South Carolina, on June 2, 2023. | Source: LOGAN CYRUS / Getty

The wife of Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has earned herself yet another disparaging nickname on the heels of being called “America’s Karen” following her recent activity on the campaign trail.

Casey DeSantis, whose husband Ron is also the governor of Florida, is now also being referred to as “Karen DeSantis” after it was alleged on social media that he “hates” her being called such.

An apparently coordinated social media campaign included an onslaught of tweets with verbiage fashioned to say variations of the following message: “Ladies and Gentlemen….MEET….KAREN DeSantis! and it appears hubby doesn’t LIKE her being called that….soo…..CALL HER THAT!”

The effort propelled the term “Karen DeSantis” to be among those trending on Twitter on Monday afternoon.

How did we get here?

If you’re a bit confused about how the internet came to bestow this decidedly unflattering name on Casey DeSantis, you probably haven’t been paying attention to her antics.

Most recently, Florida’s first lady touted her husband’s proposed policy called “Mamas for DeSantis,” which all but aligns itself with Moms for Liberty, the controversial group that fancies itself as championing parental rights whose accomplishments include getting Amanda Gorman’s presidential inauguration poem banned from a school in Florida over concerns about critical race theory.

“Winning a fight in Florida is just the beginning,” Casey DeSantis says in a video announcing Mamas for DeSantis, a likely reference to her husband’s successfully undermining diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the state. “We must protect parents’ rights and the innocence of our children. We must restore sanity in our society.”


Where did the Karen nickname come from?

Over the weekend, an MSNBC panel took aim at Casey DeSantis. But it was the commentary from former Republican Florida Congressman David Jolly that made Casey DeSantis go viral.

“For some, she’s become the brighter side to Florida’s angry governor,” Jolly said on The Saturday Show With Jonathan Capehart. “For many others, she’s become America’s Karen.”

The quip prompted laughter with panelists trying to outdo each other for whose nickname was best.

Ron DeSantis doesn’t like his wife’s new nicknames

The presidential candidate who recently proudly declared that “DEI is over in Florida” has reportedly responded to Jolly and the MSNBC crew deriding his wife as “America’s Karen.”

The New York Post, a right-wing tabloid that peddles similarly conservative rhetoric to Ron DeSantis, reported that he defended his wife on Monday.

“She’s a great advocate for families, a great advocate for children. And I’m thankful that she’s my wife,” Ron DeSantis said in an interview. “And I’m really honored that she’s willing to go out there and press the case. And so we wear criticism from MSNBC as a badge of honor.”

Ron DeSantis also suggested his wife’s critics are intimidated by her and his campaign.

“She and I kind of shrug it off because we know it just shows they view her as a threat, because the message that she was bringing in Iowa about the rights of parents and how we are not going to take this anymore with the left trying to indoctrinate our kids, they understand that that resonates not just with Republican parents, with independent parents and, yes, with Democrat parents,” he added.

However, it’s unclear how much of a “threat” exists considering that Ron DeSantis trails Donald Trump in national polls by more than 30%.


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The New York Times headquarters along 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, New York City
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