Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary Christina Pushaw sent a message to liberal reporters who were not invited to a GOP convention in the Sunshine State: “Try crying about it.”

The Florida Republican Party’s annual Sunshine Summit came to its big election-year gathering in Hollywood over the past weekend, featuring keynote speakers, panel discussions, Republican primary debates, and a “Victory Dinner” headlined by DeSantis.

Unlike previous events, the now invite-only event shut down access to some mainstream media, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The move sparked complaints from those excluded from the press list.

“It has come to my attention that some liberal media activists are mad because they aren’t allowed into #SunshineSummit this weekend,” said DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw via a July 22 Twitter post.

“My message to them is to try crying about it. Then go to kickboxing and have a margarita. And write the same hit piece you were gonna write anyway.”

Pushaw’s comments hint at a January quote from former White House press secretary Jen Psaki upon the Senate’s failure to pass voting rights legislation, which aimed to expand voting access and counter restrictive voting rights legislation that meant to ensure election integrity, passed in Republican states after 2020 election.

During her then-appearance on ABC’s “The View,” Psaki encouraged supporters to “go to a kickboxing class” and “have a margarita” over the weekend to relieve their anger and frustrations, before continuing the fight.

In another post the following day, Pushaw described liberals as “a vibe killer” at conservative events as journalists attempted to “stalk attendees and get content that they can edit, take out of context, & publish for their DNC overlords,” calling out the Daily Beast, VOX, Vice, and the Washington Post.

​​This summit came nearly one month before Florida’s primary election, including races for governor and the U.S. Senate. Republicans determined ahead of time that the event would be “invite only” for media.

“I’m not going to have a bunch of left-wing media asking our primary candidates a bunch of gotcha questions,” DeSantis told a crowd on Saturday morning at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where the summit took place on Saturday.

DeSantis had also mocked Psaki’s remarks earlier this year with a message of his own saying, “Having a margarita is well and good, but it is not a cure for Bidenflation.”


Rita Li is a reporter with The Epoch Times, focusing on U.S. and China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2018.

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