The last thing we need to do is monkey this up

Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, uttered this one on Fox when asked about his Democrat opponent, Andrew Gillum:  “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”

Putting aside the controversy swirling around this utterance, I believe it is a malaphor, as the phrase “monkey this up” does not exist.  Instead, it is a mash up of “monkey around” (waste time or procrastinate) and “muck (it) up” (to ruin or mess something up).  Muck and monkey have similar sounds, perhaps contributing to this mix up.  A partial shout out to Mike Kovacs who deconstructed this with me today. @RepDeSantis @AndrewGillum