Ron DeSantis campaign fires aide after sharing controversial neo-Nazi meme video

A controversial video superimposed Florida governor on a Nazi-appropriated Sonnenrad


ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - JULY 17: Republican presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2023 Christians United for Israel summit on July 17, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. For this year's summit, CUFI hosts 2024 Republican presidential candidates hopefuls to speak amidst other pro-Israel activists. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

An aide to Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has been fired after he shared a campaign video featuring a Nazi symbol.

Speechwriter Nate Hochman shared the controversial video on Twitter, featuring both DeSantis and a Sonnenrad, a symbol adopted by Nazis and neo-Nazis. 

The video featured a “wojack” character meme, who appears to be unhappy with news footage of Donald Trump, watching the Florida seal turn into the Sonnenrad symbol. 

DeSantis is then seen pictured on the icon in front of several marching soldiers.

The video was quickly removed but it remains unclear who first created the video.

A spokesperson for DeSantis’ campaign said: “Nate Hochman is no longer with the campaign.”

Hochman’s video appears to be contrary to DeSantis’s stated views on Israel and the Jewish community. 

The Florida governor has positioned himself as a fervently pro-Israel candidate dedicated to ensuring that children are taught about the Holocaust and preventing antisemitism through legislation.

However, DeSantis’ opponents portray him as a cultural reactionary whose anti-“woke” politics are inhibiting education on the Holocaust and antisemitism — along with teaching about race, gender and sexuality. 

He has also repeatedly condemned George Soros, the progressive mega-donor who is an avatar of right-wing antisemitic conspiracy theories. 

It comes as DeSantis, long considered former President Donald Trump's chief rival in the GOP's 2024 primary contest, cut a third of his campaign staff - or 38 people this week. 

Federal filings showed that his campaign was burning through cash at an unsustainable rate despite raising more than $20 million in the first six weeks he was in the race.

The incident adds to existing concerns associated with the DeSantis campaign.

Following a widely condemned neo-Nazi rally in Orlando last year, DeSantis’s press secretary questioned in a since-deleted tweet whether they were genuinely Nazis or rather Democratic staffers. DeSantis labelled those at the rally “jackasses” but hit back at criticism of his response as a “smear”. 

According to the filings, DeSantis and his campaign had burned through more than $8 million in a spending spree that included more than 100 paid staffers, a large security detail and luxury travel.

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