A candidate never knows what an excited audience member might say at campaign event that allows give and take. John McCain in 2008 memorably corrected a woman in Minnesota who called Barack Obama an Arab.
Last Saturday in Citrus County, Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis told a group of voters about the "four liberals" on the Florida Supreme Court overturning the death sentence of the man convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in Sarasota County in 2004 because the sentencing decision had not been unanimous.
"I have a tree and a rope in my back yard," one audience member chimed in.
"Bring back the hanging tree," added the audience member, drawing laughter as DeSantis continued talking about the court.
When we asked for clarification on his position, DeSantis' campaign stood with the hanging tree questioner. Hard to fathom any Republican primary candidate losing votes by standing for swift justice and vengeance for a child killer.
"Ron thinks that Floridians should be forgiven for having some pretty strong and not at all politically correct feelings about what should happen to this animal. Let's be clear; we're talking about someone who kidnapped, raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl. The Florida Supreme Court's decision was appalling and demonstrates once again why we need someone like Ron DeSantis, who stared down terrorists while serving in the Navy in Iraq and at the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, to appoint constitutionalists who will apply the law correctly."
Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed two of the current justices, and Chiles and Jeb Bush jointly appointed another. Republican governors appointed four of the seven current justices, though three of them were appointed by Charlie Crist, so….