Ron DeSantis is clearly running for President. So we need to understand a lot more about his character. Would he be a President who would take care of our families in tough times? Would he care about the struggles Americans are faced with day to day? We can learn a lot about our Presidential wannabe by taking a look at how he treats Florida consumers. This is an eye opener. Mike Papantonio is joined by attorney Troy Rafferty to talk about what’s happening in Florida.

Click here to watch the full Committee on Banking and Insurance meeting video.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Ron DeSantis is clearly running for president, so we need to understand a lot more about his character. Would he be a president who would take care of our families in tough times? Would he care at all about the struggles that Americans are faced with day-to-day? We can learn a lot about our presidential want to be by taking a look at how he treats Florida consumers. This is an eyeopener. I’ve got Troy Rafferty with me now to talk about what’s happening in Florida. Troy, you, I don’t think there’s anybody who spends as much time over in Tallahassee watching all this take place. What struck me is when we analyze who Ron DeSantis is, I think America needs to understand when they vote, what are they voting for? What’s he doing to consumers here in Florida? You gave me a call, you said this, I just saw something that’s so horrendous you need to know about. Let’s talk about it.

Troy Rafferty: Yeah. So over in Tallahassee, what’s happening, literally, I was over there last week watching the Banking and Insurance Senate Committee hearing. And it was an abomination. It was the most despicable and deplorable display of democracy that I’ve ever seen.

Mike Papantonio: Democracy in the dark is a term you like to use.

Troy Rafferty: Democracy in the dark. Everything, it was clear what was going on over there was these legislators are run amok. And they’re doing whatever they want and they’re checking boxes in order to.

Mike Papantonio: Troy, the setup on this is that Charlie Crist ran for governor. He was a bad candidate. He lost by 20%. But this is not a Florida story. This story affects the entire nation because I gotta tell you something, if I’m calling a winner, potentially, it’s Ron DeSantis for President of the United States. So last week I heard the story about what you observed, and we’re gonna show, we’re gonna show folks this film. I want people to see firsthand what Ron DeSantis says is okay. Last week we did a story on the fact that Ron DeSantis was, I guess, out of the picture. And you had a bunch of legislators home alone in Florida, where they were coming up with laws that would have made it requirement if you’re a blogger that you have to report to the government if you criticize Ron DeSantis or if, there was another piece of legislation where they wanted to do away with the Democratic party in the state of Florida. So here it comes down to the question, who the hell is in charge in Florida? And this is all coming from Ron DeSantis. Tell us what you observed last week.

Troy Rafferty: Yeah. So, in the committee and Senator Boyd, you got a picture back here, Senator Boyd was the chair of this committee. He, there were so many people, because the bills that are being proposed by this legislature are corporate welfare packages. They’re welfare packages for insurance industry. And that’s what they’re pushing. It injures, it hurts consumers. It hurts small businesses. It hurts victims. And all of these victims came up to testify. And I’ll tell you what I saw, and I really want everybody to go to the videos, but what I saw was disabled people coming up, driving hours and hours and hours to go testify about how this bill is a bad bill. And this senator, the chairman gave them 30 seconds.

Sen. Jim Boyd: Probably over a hundred cards, will be limited to 30 seconds per speaker and it will be enforced because we want to get as many people on the record that wanna speak to this bill as possible.

Troy Rafferty: One particular individual who has a traumatic brain injury asked for more time because she couldn’t articulate quickly enough what she had to say in 30 seconds. They drive nine hours and they get 30 seconds.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So Boyd is up on, he’s the guy in charge. He’s, DeSantis knows that this is the guy in charge of a committee that wants to completely obliterate consumer’s rights in Florida, where it comes to being injured, where it comes to being able to go after an insurance company when they do something wrong, like tornado comes through, hurricane comes through, destroys their home, that consumer wants to have the right to go after that company. The deal is, he’s the guy who’s carrying the water for Ron DeSantis to try to take all those consumer rights away.

Troy Rafferty: 100%.

Mike Papantonio: So this woman with brain damages in front of the committee, terrible brain damage. I saw the film, we’ll take a look at it here. Terrible brain damage. He says to her, you have 30 seconds, ma’am, to tell us about what happened to you. Why is it that you want this law defeated in the state of Florida as a consumer? What happened?

Troy Rafferty: And it’s more despicable than that. He not only just gave 30 seconds, he then interrupted her as she was trying to articulate what her story was and how she got hurt.

Mike Papantonio: Because she couldn’t speak.

Troy Rafferty: She couldn’t speak. She had, she’s got a traumatic brain injury and so she’s speaking very slowly and she has to process the thoughts. He interrupts her and says, thank you for being here. We have to move on.

Ms. Vera Vox: I’m sure a lot of people can relate, but.

Sen. Jim Boyd: I hate to cut you off Ms. Vox, but we’re 45 seconds. So thank you for being here, though. We appreciate your testimony.

Mike Papantonio: All right. Second woman comes up, man comes up, the film I saw he has no arms, he has no legs. He’s lost his arms and legs in a malpractice case. He’s standing in front of this committee. Let me tell you my story. Please allow me to tell you, please allow me to tell you the story of what happens when medical malpractice takes place and the governor takes away the right of the consumer to go ahead and proceed against the hospital.

Troy Rafferty: And get the medical damages and the medical treatment they need. That’s, I mean, it’s as I’ve said, I’ve said despicable and deplorable and I don’t think I can say those two words enough.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. What happens?

Troy Rafferty: And so he gets up there and he’s telling his story and he’s very impassioned. And you saw the video, he’s very impassioned and he’s telling the story and, you know, about having to sit on the floor in the shower because he can’t afford a leg, you know.

Mike Papantonio: Both his legs are missing.

Troy Rafferty: Both his legs are gone.

Mike Papantonio: His arms are gone.

Troy Rafferty: His arms are gone.

Mike Papantonio: And he’s saying this clearly took place with hospital malpractice. And if you take this right for me to sue that hospital away, which DeSantis wants to do, if you do that, then I’m a ward of the state. Taxpayers have to take care of me.

Troy Rafferty: It’s gonna fall on the taxpayers. And that’s what, that’s why I said it’s an insurance industry bailout. It’s an insurance, it’s a welfare package for insurance industry.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Okay. So, Mr. Boyd here is listening. He sees the guy up there with no arms. He knows that this is a horrendous situation. And he says, what to this man?

Troy Rafferty: He interrupts him and he said, sir, sir, I’ve given you 45 seconds. It’s, you have to go. We have to move on. And everybody starts applauding and he gets angry, that senator right there, the chairman gets angry and says, there will be no applause. There will be no shouting. There will be nothing like that in this chamber.

Mr. Gary Miracle: I’m allowed to have for the rest of my life on the top shelf, not the bottom shelf of life, please.

Sen. Jim Boyd: Mr. Miracle, I gave you over a minute, and please be respectful of those behind you. I’m sorry that we had to limit to. Next we have Frank Pierce. Um, ladies and gentlemen, we’re gonna try to run this meeting as professionally and with as much decorum as possible, clapping and shouting and it will not be tolerated. I will, we’ll deal with it accordingly.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Why, the reason this is so important, the reason this is a national story. This is not a story about Florida. It affects Florida consumers. It’s important to Florida consumers. It’s a story about the character of this man, Ron DeSantis, who says, I want to be your president. I want to take care of you. I’m gonna take care of the American public. When the American public struggles, I’m gonna be there for you. I’m gonna take care of you in hard times. How does it get any harder than what you’ve just described? So we need to understand that at the top of this food chain in Florida, these stories that we’re doing about what’s happening in Florida are just opening the door so you can better understand that if you vote for Ron DeSantis, that the things that you’re hearing about are gonna take place on a national stage. Isn’t that what this case?

Troy Rafferty: That’s absolutely right. This is about his character. I don’t think you could say it anymore clearly. Absolutely.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. It’s, you know, last week we talked about the fact that it’s like a scene out of Home Alone. Okay. You’ve got these nut cases running around Tallahassee knowing they can do whatever they want to do because Charlie Crist lost by 20 points. And it’s like a mandate from the public is the way they read that. But the public doesn’t know what’s happening in the dark and that’s why these stories have to be told. That’s why you need to be over doing what you’re doing as a lobbyist every day, making sure that we’re protecting them.

Troy Rafferty: And what happens is when the public does try to go and try to participate, that’s how they get treated in the legislature. They get shut down. It was, it was really one of the most despicable, deplorable things I’ve seen. It is, they wouldn’t even put names up on the board. You didn’t even have to go around and vote. It was just, if you’re in favor of this amendment, say, aye. Aye.

Mike Papantonio: Brain damaged woman who can barely speak, this bird is telling her, oh, you gotta hurry up, ma’am, you got 15 more seconds. Man without arms, man without legs, can I please, please allow me to tell the story about the legislation that you’re getting ready to do at the request of this man Ron DeSantis who’s running for president. Let me tell you the story because you wanna understand how bad this is that you’re getting ready to do. Why would Ron DeSantis not walk into the chamber and say, what the hell is happening here? I mean, isn’t that the question?

Troy Rafferty: That’s the question.

Mike Papantonio: Doesn’t a leader do that? What in the hell are you nut cases doing in Tallahassee while I’m out campaigning for president?

Troy Rafferty: Exactly. And let them tell their story. Like the young, the mother who took a bullet for her daughter because she was being held to gunpoint. And she jumped in front of the bullet.

Mike Papantonio: And that story was told.

Troy Rafferty: And that story was told in that chamber.

Mike Papantonio: What was their reaction to that?

Troy Rafferty: 30 seconds is up.

Mike Papantonio: Ma’am, you’re outta time.

Troy Rafferty: Your 30 seconds is up.

Mike Papantonio: Ma’am, you’re outta time. This guy Ron DeSantis and this guy need to be out of time.

Troy Rafferty: That’s right.

Mike Papantonio: And so we’re gonna talk about these stories as they develop. Maybe Ron DeSantis doesn’t know what’s going on, but we do and we’re gonna report these stories because it’s not a Florida story. This is a national story because that tells you the character that’s behind this man.

Troy Rafferty: Absolutely.

Mike Papantonio: Troy Rafferty, thank you for joining me. Okay.

Troy Rafferty: Thanks Mike. Thanks for everything you do on America’s Lawyer.

Mike Papantonio: Thank you.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.