Joe Biden Bypasses DeSantis, Calls Local Mayors About Hurricane Ian

President Joe Biden has continued to reach out to other Florida leaders, and not Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, as Hurricane Ian approaches.

On Tuesday afternoon, Florida political reporter Jay O'Brien reported on Twitter that Biden had yet to contact DeSantis about plans for the state to handle the hurricane, but that he had been in touch with mayors in several cities set to be hit by the storm. This included Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, both Democrats, with O'Brien including a tweet from the latter about his call with Biden.

"Thank you @POTUS for your call today assuring us that the administration is monitoring #HurricaneIan around the clock and stressing the importance of the infrastructure improvements to our critical systems," Welch tweeted, alongside photos of himself taking the call. "Critical events like Hurricane Ian knows no party line and it's imperative we put the safety and welfare of our residents above all else. We look forward to working alongside our regional, state, and federal partners as we weather and then rebound from this storm."

In another tweet from Tuesday, Biden confirmed that he had also been in touch with Frank Hibbard, the Republican mayor of Clearwater, Florida. FEMA Director Deanne Criswell was on the calls alongside him.

The reasons behind Biden not contacting DeSantis are unknown at this time. DeSantis, widely presumed to be eyeing a presidential run in 2024, has made numerous antagonistic moves against the Democratic Party, including Biden himself. Reports emerged last week that DeSantis was planning to fly a new group of migrants to an area near Biden's home in Delaware, following up on a similar stunt he pulled at Martha's Vineyard earlier. Responding to the reports, Biden welcomed the potential migrants.

The rumored flight never arrived, though WPTV News reported that a $950,000 payment had been made to the same company that made the Martha's Vineyard flight around the same time that the Delaware rumors emerged. DeSantis declined to comment when asked about the issue when asked.

joe biden ron desantis hurricane ian
Above, a shot of President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. Biden has reached out to numerous local Florida leaders about Hurricane Ian, sidestepping a call to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

When asked about the situation on Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that the possible rivalry between Biden and DeSantis was not a factor in the president's decision to focus on other leaders in Florida, according to ABC News.

"It's about the people of Florida," Jean-Pierre said. "It's not about public officials, especially in this time. And so again, the president, as president of the United States, as president for––for folks in red states and blue states, he's going to keep that commitment. And you have seen him do that over the course of the 19 months when there has been extreme––extreme events, extreme weather that has happened again in blue states and red states."

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.