Ron DeSantis tells Florida to not 'monkey this up' by electing Andrew Gillum

Andrew Gillum became the Democratic nominee for Florida governor on Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, his opponent, GOP candidate Ron DeSantis, made racist comments about him.

During an appearance on Fox News with Sandra Smith, DeSantis doled out backhand compliments to Gillum, calling him “an articulate spokesman” and saying he performed better than other candidates, just before arguing that Florida shouldn’t elect Gillum.

“The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state,” said DeSantis to Smith.

RELATED: Andrew Gillum, Democratic nominee for Florida governor

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Andrew Gillum, Democratic nominee for Florida governor
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Andrew Gillum, Democratic nominee for Florida governor
Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum speaks at a Florida League of Cities Gubernatorial Candidates Forum in Hollywood, Florida, U.S. August 15, 2018. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
Candidate Andrew Gillum who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, speaks to voters on a tour of barbershops in Sarasota, Florida, U.S., July 18, 2018. Picture taken July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Letitia Stein
Candidate Andrew Gillum who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, speaks to voters on a tour of barbershops in Sarasota, Florida, U.S., July 18, 2018. Picture taken on July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Letitia Stein
Candidate Andrew Gillum watches a video, which shows his rise from the son of a bus driver, to the mayor of Florida's capital city, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for state governor, during a campaign visit to a barbershop in Sarasota, Florida, U.S., July 18, 2018. Picture taken July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Letitia Stein
Candidate Andrew Gillum who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, speaks to voters on a tour of barbershops in Sarasota, Florida, U.S., July 18, 2018. Picture taken July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Letitia Stein
Tallahassee, Florida Mayor, Andrew D. Gillum addresses the audience at the Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Tallahassee, Florida Mayor, Andrew D. Gillum addresses the audience at he Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Tallahassee, Florida Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
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Gillum, mayor of  Tallahassee, is backed by Bernie Sanders and is campaigning on progressive policies. President Trump has expressed his support for DeSantis.

DeSantis’ remarks about “monkeying this up” sent Twitter into mass outrage:

“It’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles,” Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said in a statement after the interview.

Representatives for DeSantis did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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