Though he won’t talk about the 2024 presidential election, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a speech Friday at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit that was so campaign-like that it left many asking questions.
Speaking in Tampa, DeSantis hit all the high notes of a successful Republican speech by contrasting his accomplishments in Florida with President Joe Biden’s inflation, energy, and immigration failures.
Meanwhile, the Florida governor abstained from uttering former President Donald Trump’s name once, even when he compared Biden’s failed presidencies to the successful presidencies of some his predecessors.
Through it all, DeSantis also threw in some sly humor about President Biden’s just-announced COVID diagnosis.
Watch the full speech below:
The governor began his speech by celebrating his state’s COVID track record.
“Welcome to America’s beachhead of freedom, the free state of Florida. In Florida, we lead on all the big issues of the day. We stood up over the last two years against the corporate media, against bureaucrats like Fauci, and against Brandon himself to keep the state of Florida open, to protect people’s jobs, to save businesses,” he said.
“We rejected mandates for COVID jabs. And in the state of Florida, because of our efforts, it is illegal to force a student in our school system to get a COVID shot. And when we saw the federal government trying to attack our employees as well as some big corporations, we called a special session of the legislature. We passed protections for individual Floridians. No Floridian should have to choose between a job that they need and a shot they don’t want.”
DeSantis continued by turning his attention to President Biden and comparing him to some of his predecessors, NOT including Trump.
“Sometimes when you get into office, things happen. You got to deal with problems. But very rarely do we see situations where the most pressing problems of the day have all been created or exacerbated by Biden himself. And here’s the thing: We’re seeing his failed leadership every single day, and I think back, and it’s kind of sad, because you think about some of our other presidents,” he said.
“If you think about John Kennedy, what do you think [of]? You think of ‘ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.’ When you think about Ronald Reagan, you think about things like ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ With Biden, you think of a guy staring into the teleprompter like a deer in headlights.”
Biden mocked for reading ‘End of Quote’ from teleprompter during live address https://t.co/vqqV0iY2b5
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) July 9, 2022
The Florida governor then threw in a joke about Biden’s COVID diagnosis.
“Now I must say, he did test positive for COVID, and I want to, on behalf of the state of Florida, wish President Biden a speedy recovery from COVID. And I also want to wish the United States of America a speedy recovery from Joe Biden,” he said.
Unfortunately, America still has 2-1/2 long years remaining before Biden’s reign of terror possibly ends, and that’s assuming he doesn’t win reelection.
Whether or not Biden, who’s vowed he intends to run again, wins reelection could very well depend on whether DeSantis or Trump wins the 2024 GOP primary nomination, assuming of course that the Florida governor runs.
Most people believe DeSantis will run, and many say that if he does, he could potentially defeat Trump in the primaries, though it’d be no easy battle.
“DeSantis doesn’t strike me as someone who would be afraid to challenge Trump. I don’t know if DeSantis will run, but I don’t think he’s afraid to,” Republican strategist Mike DuHaime said this week to Yahoo News.
“I think DeSantis believes this is his best time to run and Trump is at his weakest. No one else is even close — and that is without DeSantis engaging him yet,” veteran pollster Michael Cohen (not THAT Michael Cohen) added.
It does appear true that DeSantis truly isn’t afraid of Trump. The former president and his allies have reportedly demanded that DeSantis formally announce that he’s NOT running in 2024, but he’s refused to comply.
Trump loyalist Roger Stone threatens gubernatorial run in FL unless DeSantis pledges not to run for WH in ’24 https://t.co/6zLzlj0cEp pic.twitter.com/2z9Xs8YQhe
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 8, 2021
“Donald Trump has been complaining to members and guests at Mar-a-Lago that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis still hasn’t joined the other 2024 hopefuls in pronouncing that he won’t run for president if Trump runs,” Politico reported last November.
DeSantis has preferred to focus solely on 2022. Indeed, during his speech Friday, he predicted a “red wave” in November and added that if a “red wave” does occur, he wants congressional Republicans to use their new majority or majorities to hold the current president accountable for his many failures.
“If we get that red wave in the House and in the Senate, and Republicans have majorities, here’s what I think we as voters want to see — we want to see you do something with those majorities. We want to see you hold [Biden] and his ilk accountable for what they’re doing at the southern border,” he said.
That being said, although DeSantis abstained from talking about 2024 or former President Trump, he did take shots at California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who’s definitely expected to run for president.
“We believe every parent in the state of Florida has a right to send their little kid to elementary school without having radical gender ideology injected into the curriculum. It is totally inappropriate to take some six year old kid and to say, ‘Well, you may have been born a boy, but maybe you’re really a girl.’ That is wrong and may fly in California but it does not fly here in the state of Florida,” he said.
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