cringe

Ron DeSantis goes for Top Gun drag in new campaign video

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his new 'Top Gov' advert
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in his new ‘Top Gov’ advert (Photo: Twitter)

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’.

Related: Ron DeSantis’ latest proposal proves he wants only the worst for Florida students

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.

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.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the 'Top Gov' advert
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the ‘Top Gov’ advert

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.”

Related: Kari Lake praises Ron DeSantis for his well-endowed leadership

Others generally found the advert cringe-inducing.