Tuesday’s CBS Mornings featured attempts to smear conservatives and revisionist history on election denialsm, but it also included a laugh-out-loud segment in which co-host Tony Dokoupil traveled to Florida and, despite stops four different restaurants (with three airing) in three different parts of the state, Dokoupil couldn’t find a single hater of Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and open supporter for his opponent, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL).
While the meals in this series have always been delectable, the outcome was even more delicious as Dokoupil teased this outcome when, on November 3, he had a segment from Florida on DeSantis’s COVID-19 response that had a similar conclusion.
Dokoupil began this segment on his home state with the reality that Florida has trended red after having “once” been “the nation’s premier swing state.” His first top took him to a Cuban sandwich and coffee bar named Enriqueta’s in the heart of Miami and the closest thing to a DeSantis critic in patron Justin Kaplan.
“I didn’t vote for him the first time, I won’t vote for him again. I still think he’s been unfairly vilified. And I think that can national narrative and certainly the narrative outside of the state of Florida is absolutely not in line with what is really going on down here,” said Kaplan.
Dokoupil then reminded viewers via patron Dayami Marquez that there are “a million Cuban-Americans around Miami” and “[t]here is a difference between Cuban voters and Latino voters.”
As for Marquez, she said that DeSantis “is a beast” in “the way he does everything.” She added that she supported DeSantis shipping illegal immigrants to Massachusetts: “I’m an immigrant, but I came legal. I believe in legal immigration. I don’t believe in illegal immigration.”
Dokoupil made his second attempt along Florida’s Space Coast with a stop at Melbourne’s Pub Amerciana. While there, he heard from a man named Dave Hoban who said his biggest issue is making sure “we have our freedoms here” and prevent the spread of wokeness “forced down...people’s throats.”
Perhaps the funniest moment came when he went over to young female independents Katherine Graham and Tomi Fryer (click “expand”):
DOKOUPIL: [W]e heard from two women across the room who sounded like they might lean Democrat, especially on the issue of abortion.
GRAHAM: Women should have a choice to do what they want.
FRYER: It’s not my decision to tell someone else what to do.
DOKOUPIL: But Katherine Graham and Tomi Fryer, both registered independents, like what Ron DeSantis is cooking up on just about every other issue.
FRYER: He’s just, like, on it, especially with how he handled COVID like —
FRYER: — I feel like that was a big contributing factor to it.
GRAHAM: I just feel like he’s very family oriented. He, you know, cares about people. He doesn’t like you know — he doesn’t BS around.
Strike two, Crist!
Dokoupil drove up the coast to Jacksonville for dinner in hopes of finding a Crist voter inside Duval County as, in 2020, it “flipped blue for the first time in more than four decades.”
But inside Treemendous BBQ, he found concerns about the economy and wokeness front and center with DeSantis being owner Terry Rountree’s 2024 pick over Donald Trump (click “expand”):
DOKOUPIL: It’s where we found Treemendous BBQ and met with owner Terry Rountree. [TO ROUNTREE] How are you? Thanks for having us.
ROUNTREE: Thank you.
DOKOUPIL: Who recently had to make some adjustments. [TO ROUNTREE] Increasing cost of operation. What’s going on there?
ROUNTREE: Can I say Biden?
DOKOUPIL: You can say whatever’s on your mind.
ROUNTREE: It wasn’t like that when Trump was President.
DOKOUPIL: It also came with a side of nostalgia from Terry’s brother, Ricky, and customer Daniel Quinn as they discussed DeSantis’s fight against the so-called woke left.
DANIEL QUINN: Before, we didn’t have to think about what you said; now, you’ve really got to think about it before you say it.
ROUNTREE: It is a free country. We have — it says we have free speech, why can’t you say what you want?
DOKOUPIL: Pretty clear, Democrats have their work cut out for them here and not only in 2022. Terry Rountree likes Ron DeSantis for Governor and beyond. [TO ROUNTREE] Do you like him for 2024?
ROUNTREE: In the White House?
DOKOUPIL: Over that other Florida resident?
Back live, Dokoupil made it official that he had failed to find a single DeSantis supporter despite making a fourth stop at a diner that didn’t air where he still couldn’t find a Crist voter.
“[O]nce we started digesting our food and digesting the day, we realized that on that day long trip, we spoke to dozens of people up and down the Coast of Florida all in precincts by the way that voted for President Biden in 2020. But to our surprise, we did not run into a supporter of Ron DeSantis’s Democratic opponent,” he explained.
To make sure Crist voters were heard, he went to a lowly Crist event and interviewed four black female Democrats with one claiming that DeSantis has “stole[n] our freedom” as Floridians.
Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King was dismayed:
[I]t was interesting though, about the Ron DeSantis voters that you go from one end of the state to the other and I know you were looking, you only found Charlie Chris supporters at a Charlie Crist rally. It was really that difficult?
Dokoupil conceded “it was really that tough” and, along with the unaired stop, he even “stood at a stop sign and flagged down every single car to ask the driver who they were supporting,” but couldn’t find someone who’d back the turncoat former Governor from Tampa.
Going to break, Dokoipil admitted “it does speak to the fact that Ron DeSantis, in the last four years, after just barely winning the governorship and 2018, has done a really strong job of consolidating support.”
To see the relevant transcript from November 8, click here.