DeSantis Appeals Against the Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is African American.
"Public policy is important, leadership is important, so this election is of great importance to the state of Florida," said Perdue, a former governor of Georgia, to fans in Lakeland. "I hope you do not mess it up."
DeSantis' campaign did not immediately respond to CNN's demand for an opinion on Perdue's statement. In an e-mail to Politico, in which the comments were first reported, a DeSantis spokesman said: "We were happy to fight with us (Perdue) in the Polk district," but referred all questions to the Secretariat.
In a statement, Fox News spokesman said, "David Bossie's comments today were deeply offensive and completely inappropriate, his comments do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not tolerate them in any way."
DeSantis has been criticized for his own previous remarks since winning the August pre-election campaign when he called Fox News to warn voters not to "beat that monkey" by voting for Gillum in November. DeSantis denied that his choice of words was racially motivated.
"The congressman let us know exactly where he would race this day after winning the nomination," Gillum said during her first debate hosted by CNN on October 21. "The comment" Monkey on "said it all and he just continued throughout his campaign to pay close attention to my skin color."
During their second meeting, when DeSantis was confronted with these unappetizing connections, he claimed ignorance and struck the presenter, asking, "How the hell am I supposed to know every single statement anyone makes?" before framing his refusal to apologize in defiance of a hostile press.
"I will not bow down," he said, "in front of the altar of media correctness."
Gillum, who had quietly watched, dismissed DeSantis's explanation coldly.
"My grandmother used to say," A beaten dog roars, "and he roared through the room," he said, adding a moment later, "Now I do not call Mr. DeSantis a racist, I just say the racists believe that he is a racist. "
At the beginning of the campaign, Gillum was targeted by racist robo-calls by a white Supra-Macedonian-based group based in Idaho that launched an attack on Stacey Abrams this week, who is also African-American and runs for a governor in Georgia.
Brian Kemp, the governor candidate of DeSantis and Georgia GOP, announced the calls immediately.