Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made his first official campaign stop in Iowa on Tuesday night in front of a jubilant crowd. In his speech, DeSantis hit all key talking points for domestic policy, from his patented "anti-wokeness," to energy independence, law and order, and the need to close the border to illegal immigrants. DeSantis announced his campaign on Twitter a week ago.
DeSantis did not address the greatest international crisis, the war in Ukraine and the massive outlay of funds, supplies and resources that have gone from the US to aid that nation's fight against Russia.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds stressed how important it is for the GOP to take back the White House in next year's election, and called on the next GOP president to "undo" what Biden had done during his term. Reversing the gains of the previous, Trump administration is exactly what Biden tried to do when he took office with a slew of executive orders.
Abortion was a key focus of Reynolds introduction, as she praised the overturning of Roe v Wade in the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision in June 2022, and DeSantis for enacting a "heart beat" ban on abortion in his state.
DeSantis took the stage to massive applause, saying "Our American comeback starts by sending Joe Biden back to his basement in Delaware." He joked that "Florida is the Iowa of the southeast," praising Reynolds for her conservative policies.
"Our southern border has collapsed," he said, "the Mexican drug cartels have more control over what goes on at the border than our own United States government, millions of illegal aliens have poured into this country including criminal aliens in even individuals on the terrorist watch list."
DeSantis took aim at inflation, saying that the US dollar has "lost more than 20 percent of its value in the last four years," and he called for American energy independence. The insane hypocrisy of a White House that demands Americans drive electric cars and go solar while eschewing homegrown energy production was not lost on DeSantis, who pointed out that the push to electric will only further line the pockets of China and it's communist party.
On China, DeSantis said "we need to recognize that the Chinese Communist Party is the primary threat facing our nation internationally. We need to have a strong military to counter that threat. China's been empowered by elites in our own country for decades. They continue to build a strong military capability and they are seeking to eclipse America as the world's leading superpower. We cannot allow our kids and grandkids to grow up in a century, that is somehow a Chinese century it needs to continue to be an American century."
He slammed lockdowns, the wokism in American institutions, and took aim at the debt ceiling bill agreed to by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Joe Biden. He said that "this will not solve our nation's fiscal problems," and touted the low debt in Florida, at only $17 billion.
"It can be done, you just have to be willing to make choices and stop passing the buck to subsequent generations to clean up your mess," he said, to applause at this seeming solution.
"it does not have to be this way," he said. "American decline is not inevitable. It is a choice. And we must choose a new direction for our country. We must choose a path that will lead to a revival of American Greatness. We must
We must restore sanity to our nation. We need fiscal and economic sanity."
ESG, CRT, CBDC, and DEI have all been banned from corporations, institutions and universities in Florida, while the governor has also banned ballot harvesting.
A big component of DeSantis speech had to do with education, both for younger grades and for universities. These are areas where his Florida administration has been forceful in protecting childhood, and he gave his wife Casey the mic to discuss parenthood and education. She also touched on Florida's success in at keeping life as normal as possible during the Covid pandemic.
DeSantis defended his record in Florida, too, against leftist critiques of his defense of parents' rights and now allowing the teaching of gender ideology in schools.
"It is wrong for a teacher to be telling a young student that they may have been born in the wrong body or that their gender is a choice. We don't allow this in our schools, and we don't now in Florida we ban teachers from forcing students to choose pronouns," he said.
"We are not competing in the pronoun sweepstakes in the state of Florida."
As to the fight with Disney, he said "I'm not backing down one inch, we run the state of Florida, they do not run the state of Florida." He promised that "there would be no compromise" with the entertainment and theme park behemoth.
Gender ideology, for DeSantis, is a "fraud," and "we are not going to accept things that aren't true in this country." On child sex changes he was adamant that it is "mutilation" and entirely wrong. Any Florida doctors who do that on minors, he said, would not only lose their license but go to prison for it.
He may have been talking directly to Miami surgeon Dr. Sidhbh Gallagher who declares her love of "yeeting the teets" in TikTok videos directed at teens.
As to solutions, DeSantis said "we will re establish the sovereignty of this nation. We will declare a national emergency about the border. We'll shut the border down. We'll actually construct a border wall will end mass migration and we will hold the Mexican drug cartels accountable for murdering American citizens."
And he looked back at Covid policies that "eroded freedom and posed great harm on American society." If elected, he will seek "accountability so this never happens to our country again."
"We will leave woke ideology in the dustbin of history," he proclaimed.
As he rounded into the final lap of his speech, he said that "The tired dogmas of the past are inadequate for a vibrant future. We must look forward, not look backwards."
DeSantis said that the key thing for the GOP is to make the election season about Joe Biden's failures "I believe that if we make this election a referendum on the failures of Joe Biden and if we provide a positive alternative for the American people that we will win the election, not just for president, but for House, for Senate, and we will sweep into Washington with a chance to do great things.
"But we get distracted, if we allow the election to become about other things other than Biden's failures, if he's able to hibernate in his basement for the whole campaign and not have to answer tough questions– Well, then we may be in danger of seeing a Democrat sweep and 2024."
He warned against the legislative and government excesses that may result from a Democrat victory, including a packed Supreme Court, making Washington, DC a state, the abolishment of the Electoral College, and making voter ID illegal.
That is not an agenda that is speaking to the aspirations of the average American family," DeSantis said. "I don't even think they would claim that it's an agenda that's speaking to those aspirations. No, that's an agenda that is trying to render the conservative part of the country to be second class citizens. And if we allow them to do that, it will be very difficult for us to claw back and call out of that hole."
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