SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — Governor Ron DeSantis tore into California Governor Gavin Newsom in the Golden State on Sunday. In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, DeSantis spoke like a presidential frontrunner, boasting on his record in Florida as the antithesis of the “woke mind virus” of Newsom and other Democrats.
The 45-minute speech touched on all the hot topics separating DeSantis and his nemesis. The Florida governor emphasized his resistance to COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates, aggressive measures to curb illegal immigration and cultural positions on gender, sexual orientation and CRT in schools.
“I knew you guys got a lot of problems out here, but your governor is very concerned about what we’re doing in Florida, so I figured I had to come by,” DeSantis told the crowd as he began his speech. DeSantis said Californians are fleeing the state in droves to come to Florida, where they can live freely.
TRIED AND TRUE PRINCIPLES
DeSantis, expected to announce a bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination later this summer, addressed a crowd of 1,300, including former Governor Pete Wilson and actor Gary Sinise, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“We’ve witnessed a great American exodus from states run by Leftist politicians, and we’ve seen massive gains in states like Florida, who are governing in accordance to the tried and true principles that President Reagan held dear,” said DeSantis.
Reagan “understood the vital role that government had to play,” said DeSantis asserting that it could be a “negative force if not applied properly.” DeSantis said he governed Florida with the same discernment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeSantis said the performances of individual states over the last five years were a grand experiment, a great test in governing philosophies. He compared Florida with California and other states like New York and Illinois.
“Because, of course, you know, we approach things much differently in Florida than you guys have out here, much differently in Florida than they’ve done in New York and in Illinois.”
Dozens of protestors held signs in support of LGBTQ students and condemned the Florida governor’s “banning of books.”
Protestors told the Sacramento Bee they’re horrified at DeSantis. “What he’s doing in Florida is absolutely a laboratory for fascism,” said Laura Zempel, an educator. Other protesters from Los Angeles said they were protesting the “UnAmerican” governor. “We support queer kids and trans kids,” they said. “And we believe Black history is American history. We’re here to stand up for that.”
A FIGURE OF HOPE
DeSantis did not mention Donald Trump in his speech, focusing instead on what he sees as a renewal of conservative values in the tradition of Ronald Regan. The message was about hope and a belief that America can return back to those values.
“Many people think America’s best days are behind us,” said DeSantis. “But I think Ronald Reagan provides a great example of this. The 1970s were a period where people were saying much of the same thing … Reagan rejected that. He believed in what America was founded on very deeply.”