Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has aped the movie Top Gun in his latest campaign video. DeSantis sports a bomber jacket and poses in the cockpit of a fighter jet, recreating scenes from the Tom Cruise-starring movies.
In the ‘Top Gov’ ad, DeSantis (R) poses as a trainer of fresh recruits at ‘Freedom Headquarters’, informing them about “taking on the corporate media.”
It’s intercut with footage of him verbally sparring with journalists during press conferences. One piece of archive footage has him angrily responding to a journalist who asked him about Florida’s so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. It’s officially called the Parental Rights in Education bill, and DeSantis challenges the journalist on what the legislation actually says.
The bill does not include the word ‘gay’, but prohibits teachers from talking to kids about sexual orientation at primary school level, or older if not deemed ‘age-appropriate’.
One of DeSantis’ own kids features briefly in the video, joining dad in the cockpit of the jet.
DeSantis faced no GOP primary contenders in Florida this week and will go up against one of several possible Democrats in the midterms.
The new campaign video was shared by his wife, Casey DeSantis, on Twitter.
“Top Gov… Dogfighting… Taking on the Corporate Media…” she said in her Tweet.
Top Gov… Dogfighting… Taking on the Corporate Media…
Rules of Engagement are as Follows:
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) August 23, 2022
DeSantis Top Gun video was wife’s idea
DeSantis is a veteran, although he served as a Navy JAG lawyer, not as a fighter pilot.
At an appearance yesterday, DeSantis says the advert was his wife’s idea.
“Well, I think it was something that my wife initially thought about. Because you talk about the dog fighting and it’s like, OK, well, what is our dog fighting? It’s dealing with corporate press,” he said.
Some may find it ironic DeSantis opted to honor Top Gun. Many have commented on the original 1986 movie’s homoerotic undertones.
Cruise returned to the iconic role of Capt. Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in this year’s Top Gun: Maverick. The movie has proved to be the biggest of Cruise’s career to date, and the number one box office hit of the year so far.
However, many have been left unimpressed by DeSantis cosplaying the Cruise role.
A former Navy Pilot, Ken Harbaugh, said he’d met plenty of people who pretended to be a “badass” in the military.
“This tough-guy act is pathetic, especially from someone like Ron DeSantis. I earned these wings. I flew intel missions in the Middle East and Pacific … the men and women I led wore their wings proudly. This campaign ad from Ron DeSantis is just one more example of a Republican politician appropriating the honor of others.”
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) August 23, 2022
Others generally found the advert cringe-inducing.
Awww! Look at him in his little cosplay costume playing make believe fighter pilot! Maybe next he’ll put on tights and a cape and “drive” a Batmobile! Or maybe big shoes and a clown nose…
— LAMusing 🌻 (@LAMusing) August 23, 2022
Oh dude NOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/a1xCI47qbQ
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 23, 2022
Good lord, I just watched that Ron DeSantis “Top Gun” ad and it has to be one of the most ridiculous ads I’ve seen in a really long time, damn. 😂
— BrooklynDad_Defiant!☮️ (@mmpadellan) August 23, 2022
you can’t say gay but you can put an asshole in a cockpit
— blaine capatch (@blainecapatch) August 23, 2022
Ron DeSantis yesterday: Spends $300,000 on a Top Gun ad likening himself to a Tom Cruise-esque fighter pilot
Ron DeSantis today: Runs away from a reporter like he’s the Energizer Bunny
Republicans talk a big game but they’re all spineless treason weasels
— Lindy Li (@lindyli) August 24, 2022
After seeing Ron Desantis’ Top Gun inspired ad, even Tom Cruise was like “that guy is crazy.” (probably)
— MM (@adgirlMM) August 23, 2022
— 💙Rhondizzle’s Blue Wave💙🌊 (@Rhondizzle3) August 23, 2022
It’s fitting @GovRonDeSantis is running with a “Top Gun” themed campaign ad because under his leadership Florida’s murder rate has skyrocketed to 66% higher than New York’s, making this entire state a “Danger Zone” https://t.co/D1Fw6YQ6Cf
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) August 23, 2022
Ron DeSantis is dressing up in a cosplay outfit and filming a fake movie trailer while a 16-year-old Florida girl was just forced to give birth against her will because of a law he signed.
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) August 23, 2022