Luke Bryan defends Ron DeSantis’ invitation to the stage during the concert

Country music star Luke Bryan on Sunday defended GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ invitation to come onstage at a concert earlier this weekend, saying it was for a good cause.

The two shook hands and Bryan put his arm around the right-wing head of state while the two laughed ― as seen in the video and Photos shared by DeSantis. The governor, a potential presidential nominee for 2024, also threw hats at the crowd.

Bryan, a judge on “American Idol,” received backlash from Democrats and other DeSantis critics for aligning himself with the polarizing pole. But Bryan responded that DeSantis’ presence was in the name of raising funds for Hurricane Ian victims — not in the name of politics.

“I don’t usually react to stuff when I’m down on a social platform, but here’s the deal,” Bryan wrote on Twitter. “I understand that Governor DeSantis is a very polarizing figure. But I grew up in a country where if a governor asks you to come and raise awareness to help victims of a natural disaster, you help.”

“I’ve generally stayed out of politics my entire career,” continued Bryan, who was due to perform around the time of the Florida hurricane. “I knew people would be chattering about it, but for me the more important part was whether I’m going to go back there a few weeks after a natural disaster affected a large proportion of people in a state where people have been good to me were that felt right. Raise awareness, have a little fun between the GA and FL college fans before the game and do what I love on stage.

Bryan, who is from Georgia, said this would be his final comment on the matter, closing with a “#GoDawgs,” referring to the top-ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs’ win over Florida and their next game against No. 2 Tennessee.

“We’re going to have fun and raise some money for the great state of Florida tonight,” Bryan told fans in Jacksonville on Friday. He then presented DeSantis with an enthusiastic response.

Bryan explained how proceeds from another concert would be distributed to hurricane victims, the Heavy reported.

DeSantis, who faces re-election on Nov. 8, boasted of the state’s ability to quickly rebuild bridges.

He has been heavily criticized for supporting the state’s Don’t Say Gay law, staging taxpayer-funded migrant flights from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as a political stunt, and campaigning against voting rights.

While some applauded Bryan for his statement, others were undeterred.


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