NBC News received some backlash after it accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of hypocrisy over attacking Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s 53-year-old son.
It all goes back to the viral moment during Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate when another GOP presidential candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, mentioned former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s daughter during an exchange about the latter’s condemnation of the use of TikTok by America’s youth.
Ramaswamy had criticized Haley for her daughter’s TikTok usage, saying, “So you might want to take care of your family first before preaching to anyone else.”
Ramaswamy’s remarks led to a fierce reaction from Haley, who in turn called her rival “scum.”
Addressing the issue, DeSantis said, “I think the kids are out of bounds. I didn’t think that was an appropriate thing to do.”
“I keep the kids out of it for sure,” he added, underlining his commitment to maintaining a respectful boundary when it comes to candidates’ children.
While addressing the news, NBC News published an article titled “Ron DeSantis says it’s ‘out of bounds’ to attack candidates’ kids — except for Hunter Biden,” drawing a parallel between instances where DeSantis had mentioned Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son.
“But out on the campaign trail, the governor does not shy from making a punchline out of Hunter Biden, 53, joking about his history of addiction and embarrassing details of his personal life that have surfaced publicly,” the news outlet reported.
This comparison drew criticism from various social media users, including political figures and commentators, who argued that Hunter Biden was not a child but a 53-year-old adult.
“Great to see you guys admit that Hunter Biden is a man child,” press secretary for DeSantis’s governor’s office, Jeremy Redfern, wrote.
Great to see you guys admit that Hunter Biden is a man child.
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) November 10, 2023
“You do know he’s literally older than Ron DeSantis… Right?” conservative commentator Lydia Leitermann wrote of Hunter Biden.
You do know he's literally older than Ron DeSantis… Right?
— Sour Patch Lyds 🐊 (@sourpatchlyds) November 10, 2023
“DeSantis is 45 years old, Hunter Biden is 53 years old,” pianist David Burger tweeted.
DeSantis is 45 years old, Hunter Biden is 53 years old https://t.co/xAPiMyeKZK
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 10, 2023
“The way the media talks about Hunter Biden, you’d think he’s just some poor teenager in need of direction as opposed to a 53-year-old criminal,” former Texas Congressional candidate Christian Collins said.
The way the media talks about Hunter Biden, you'd think he's just some poor teenager in need of direction as opposed to a 53-year-old criminal. https://t.co/mLrinnsXFQ
— Christian Collins (@CollinsforTX) November 10, 2023
“Hunter Biden’s daughter turns 30 next month, but NBC is still convinced that criticizing a man who’s easily old enough to be a grandfather counts as “going after an opponent’s children,” Ian Miller tweeted.
Hunter Biden’s daughter turns 30 next month, but NBC is still convinced that criticizing a man who’s easily old enough to be a grandfather counts as “going after an opponent’s children” https://t.co/HjGb8UaJy2
— Ian Miller (@ianmSC) November 10, 2023
DeSantis’s press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, defended the governor, saying, “Great to see you guys admit that Hunter Biden is a man child.” Others pointed out Hunter’s age, with conservative commentator Lydia Leitermann saying, “You do know he’s literally older than Ron DeSantis… Right?”
The debate surrounding Hunter Biden has intensified in recent times, with Hunter himself addressing the issue in an op-ed for USA Today. He argued that his struggles and mistakes had been weaponized for political purposes and that he had been subjected to a “vile and sustained disinformation campaign.”
NBC News contended that “many Republican swipes against Hunter Biden are based on unproven theories and occasionally veer into personal attacks.” However, DeSantis’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, defended the focus on Hunter Biden’s actions, stating that he had “likely committed criminal activity” and leveraged his father’s position for personal gain.