Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was met with applause over the weekend as he spoke to the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference.
DeSantis’ speech follows the results of a straw poll from a top conservative summit over the weekend showcasing that he has overtaken former president Donald Trump as the candidate conservatives want to see in the Oval Office.
During the event, DeSantis highlighted his record as the state’s governor and what his goals are moving forward.
Highlights from DeSantis’ speech include:
- “And for me, my ability to serve as governor and the opportunity wasn’t an opportunity to be somebody. I didn’t need another title. It was an opportunity to do great things on behalf of the state. I was not going to settle for merely being the controlled opposition to leftism. Instead, we were going to fight big battles and we were going to win and we have practiced that.”
- “My first year as governor, I signed into law, the largest expansion of school choice anywhere in the country. I signed a ban on sanctuary cities. And through my appointments, I was able to shape the Supreme Court of Florida from being one of the most liberal courts in the nation to being one of the most conservative.”
- “I can tell you if Florida had not done what we did [with the pandemic], many other states would not have followed, and we could still be in lockdown in this country right now. … So ultimately, Florida chose freedom over Fauci-ism and we are better off for it.”
- “But, you know, as important as the COVID was all of last year and into this year, one of the major events we had to deal with last summer, were roits all across the United States. And I made a decision, as soon as I saw that, that would not happen in Florida. We were not going to let our cities burn down. We called up the national guard and immediately, we worked with local law enforcement. We were ready. And as a result, we didn’t see the type of devastation that you saw in many of these other cities. … I also proposed that our legislature pass and I signed a few months ago, the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement legislation in the country, which basically says in Florida, we are not going to let any local government defund the police. We’re also going to make sure that people who engage in mob violence are held accountable. I’m sick of seeing things like in Portland, they riot, they get arrested, they have their mugshot taken, they slap them on the wrist and they put them right back on the street to do the same thing all over again. In Florida, if you engage in mob violence, you’re going to jail, and you’re going to stay in jail.”
- “The rule of law is also being challenged by feckless policies of the Biden Harris administration at our Southern border. We had under president Donald Trump, we had a series of policies that worked, those policies upheld the sovereignty of our country. They made sure that our asylum system was not being abused. And everybody saw the results of that. When Joe Biden took office, he reversed those policies, not because there was a legitimate basis to do so in fact. It was because he needed to show that he didn’t like Trump and that he wasn’t going to be like Trump. Well, the result has been a disaster on the Southern border: human trafficking, crime, and drugs pouring into our country. And it’s gotten so bad and the Biden administration has been so reckless that states are now stepping up to secure the border, particularly in Texas and in Arizona and those governors and those states called on all the other governors and all the other states for support in this vital mission. And I’m proud to say Florida was the first state to answer the call. We are gonna’ help secure the border. We don’t want these drugs coming into our country. And we need to act because I can tell you, these cartels are eating Joe Biden’s lunch. And so I’m thankful that the governors are stepping up. What does it say about an administration when the states have to step up and do the jobs that the federal government is supposed to be doing? But nevertheless, this is where we are. And so we’ll do what we can to be helpful.”
[On woke corporations]: “I said, look if you are in one of these corporations, if you’re a woke CEO, you want to get involved in our legislative business. Look, it’s a free country. You know, you want to get in there and slam us or smear me or my legislature or Floridians, it’s a free country, but understand, if you do that, I’m fighting back against you and I’m gonna make sure that people understand your business practices and then we’re going talk about what you’re doing and we’ve been very clear about that. We are not going to let our state be run by woke corporations. So we passed the bill. I signed the bill. The left had a spasm. The media had a spasm. The businesses didn’t say anything. They didn’t say anything because I think what they do is they think when the left comes after you, the path of least resistance and the way to avoid conflict is just to cave to them and genuflect to whatever they’re asking, even though it’s not based in fact, I think we basically said, ‘actually, you know, if you go down that road, you’re guaranteeing conflict because we will fight back and we will make sure that we’re defending our people, we’re going to defend our legislature, we’re not going to take this lying down.'”
[On corporations having too much power]: “Now there’s problems with that. One, I’m not sure that’s the best for the economy, but two, if corporations are going to be in charge of all these things in our daily lives, I think it’s a problem for conservatives that they don’t share our values, but here’s the thing. As conservatives, we have to advance public policy that elevates the freedom of the individual over the freedom of the corporation. And that’s what this fight is about. Do we want individuals to be able to speak? Do we want to support that freedom or do we want to support the freedom of massive monopolies to censor views they don’t like? I know which side I stand on. I’m for the average American and the average Floridian who’s trying to fight back against big tech and make their voice heard.”
- “But speaking of not sharing our values, if you look at what’s going on in our country, I don’t think you could discuss the ills of what we see going on without identifying one of the main reasons for that. A very partisan, corrupt, corporate, media, and many of them are based in New York City. They do not tell the truth routinely to the American people. Instead they manufacturer partisan narratives regardless of the facts. And their duty seems to really be trying to gaslight people into believing their narratives rather than to inform them of things that are actually going on.”
- “One of the ways I think we can create a better foundation going forward and hopefully produce people that are understanding some of these narratives are for what they are, is we need a renewal of American civics back in our public school system and in our schools. People need to be taught why America was founded, what the principles that made our country unique were, they need to be taught that our rights do not come from government. They come from God. So they need to be taught what makes the country unique. They need to be taught American history, it needs to be factual, needs, to be honest, need to talk about, of course, many great achievements, many, many great lows, many triumphs, many tragedies, but that needs to be done honestly. And it cannot be infected with ideologies like Critical Race Theory.”
[On fighting back against the political left]: “It ain’t going to be easy. You got to be strong. You got to put on the full armor of God. You got to take a stand, take a stand against the left’s schemes, you got to stand your ground, you got to be firm, you will face flaming arrows, but take up the shield of faith and fight on. So I look forward to joining with you in the battles to come. I can tell you that in the state of Florida, I’ll be holding the line, I’ll be standing my ground, I won’t back down, and I have only begun to fight. Thank you, God bless you, thank you so much.”