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Ron DeSantis responds to wife being called ‘America’s Karen’: She 'threatens the left'

After MSNBC critics called Casey DeSantis "America's Karen," her husband and GOP presidential candidate claimed she "threatens the left" with a spotlight on parental rights.

After a liberal media panel mocked Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis as "America’s Karen," her husband and GOP presidential candidate defended their values and platform against leftist attacks.

"My wife is an incredibly strong first lady of Florida, a fantastic mother and a great wife, and that threatens the left," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on "Varney & Co." Monday.

"So 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.

On MSNBC’s "Saturday Show with Jonathan Capehart" this past weekend, a political panel mocked and name-called Florida’s first lady when discussing DeSantis’ campaigning strategy, particularly after Casey’s recently announced Mamas for DeSantis initiative.

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"Casey DeSantis is a fairly compelling political figure in Florida, and now nationally. For many, she's the brighter side to Florida's angry governor. For others, she's become America's Karen. And I think that's the ultimate disconnect here with a campaign that needs to embrace more constituencies to get to the White House," MSNBC analyst David Jolly said Saturday.

The panel, which also included The Lincoln Project member Tara Setmayer, broke out into laughter over the name "America’s Karen" and continued to mock Casey.

Setmayer replied: "Well, I called her, I called her this, you know, Serena Waterford wannabe needs to cut it out. We see you. So… there's all kinds of names for her. She needs to stop trying to measure the drapes in the White House and think that she's some kind of Jackie O reincarnate. I mean, Casey DeSantis, keep an eye on her, though. She's a wily figure."

Ron DeSantis argued that the critics are worried about the first lady’s "effectiveness."

"She's a great advocate for families, a great advocate for children. And I'm thankful that she's my wife," DeSantis said. "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."

Casey’s national campaign focuses on parental rights and aims to bring DeSantis’ education agenda in Florida to the national level.

"When you come after our kids, we fight back. Because there’s nothing we won’t do to protect our children," says in her Mamas for DeSantis campaign announcement video. "We will not allow you to exploit their innocence to advance your agenda. We are no longer silent. We are united. And we have finally found our fighter."

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The latest Fox News polling shows DeSantis trailing former President Donald Trump by 34 points. Reacting to the numbers, DeSantis claimed it’s clear that mainstream media doesn’t want him to be the Republicans’ nominee pick.

"I think the fact that I'm the one that's targeted by the media, by the left, even by the president of Mexico, is because people know that I will beat Biden," DeSantis said, "and they know that I will actually deliver on all these issues and beat the Democrats at the border, beat them on things like ESG, beat them on things like crime, and they don't want to see that."

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Fox News’ Lindsay Kornick and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.

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