Fox News host Sandra Smith, who interviewed DeSantis, later said on air that the network does "not condone this language".
It was a Trump rally on July 31 in Tampa, which happens to be the state's largest media market, that helped propel DeSantis, a three-term congressman from Ponte Vedra Beach, past Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the primary.
During an appearance on MSNBC, guest Mark Thompson compared the comments to calling Gillum a rascist label. State governors will play a key role in legislative reapportionments that emerge from the 2020 census. Republicans plan to use an FBI investigation of Tallahassee's municipal government against Gillum, though he's not directly been named a subject.
"He's already incriminated himself by interfering with the Department of Justice, " Gillum said.
Stephen Lawson, communications director for the DeSantis campaign, said the comment had nothing to do with race.
Rejigged England face revived India in fourth Test
The Ageas Bowl track had a decent covering of grass is expected to have more bounce than the previous venues of the series. James Anderson is on the verge of becoming the most successful pace bowler in the history of Test cricket.
GILLUM: I would ask people to measure me by my actions.
"I understand he's trying to put down his opponent, as every politician everywhere does, but in this moment, it comes across as racially charged", said Williams, noting that DeSantis had also described his opponent as "articulate" and a "socialist".
US Representative Ron DeSantis, a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump who won his party's nomination on Tuesday, made the remarks on Fox News and immediately came under fire for their negative racial undertones.
Tallahassee has had one of the Florida's highest crime rates in recent years though it has been going down. Gillum supports Medicare for all, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement and impeaching President Trump.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis.
In an interview with Politico, Gillum said Florida would be "looking for a governor that was going to bring us together, not divide us". "We can talk to people in a commonsensical way about the issues that confront them, and quite frankly it doesn't matter if you're in the rural panhandle of Florida or the I-4 corridor". Democrat Stacey Abrams won the party's nomination in Georgia in May.
At the White House, Mr Trump told reporters he had not heard about Mr DeSantis's comments, and praised the Republican candidate as "extraordinary". "Not misogynist, not racist, not bigots", he said.