GILBERT, SOUTH CAROLINA — On Friday, Ron DeSantis positioned himself as a defender of innocence who will unite the country when he told voters in South Carolina: “You’ve got to be willing to stand your ground in the face of intense opposition and criticism.”
FIGHTING WOKE INDOCTRINATION
As DeSantis began speaking about his push in Florida to make it easier for parents to monitor school libraries and report inappropriate books, he was interrupted by a protester who cursed him out and called him a “fascist.”
But Florida’s governor doubled down on his stance, arguing that school teachers should focus on instruction, not indoctrination.
“We’re doing what we need to do, but there is a concerted effort to go after kids now that I think wasn’t necessarily true when I was growing up,” DeSantis told the crowd at The Grove on Augusta in Lexington County. “We recognize it, and we’re fighting back against it.”
DeSantis said his track record as governor of Florida, particularly on schools and education, sets him apart from other candidates.
“You’ve got to be willing to go out there, and you’ve got to be willing to stand your ground in the face of intense opposition and criticism, even if you have to stand all alone,” DeSantis exclaimed.
“That’s what you’re called upon to do,” he continued. “So, I resolved I am going to care more about protecting the jobs of the people I represent than I am about saving my own job.”
DeSantis also reminded voters that border security is a priority, joking that he would gladly send construction crews from Florida to finish building the wall at the Southern border.
“We will shut down the borders,” DeSantis said as the Bluffton crowd cheered. “We will build a border wall. We will end mass migration. We will hold the Mexican drug cartels accountable for the harm they are inflicting on this country.”
FOCUS ON A BRIGHTER FUTURE
South Carolina State Senator Rex Rice (R-Easley) and state Reps. Micah Caskey (R-West Columbia) and Bill Hixon (R-North Augusta) praised DeSantis’ support of law enforcement, strict border policies and the military.
Bill Hixon, once a Donald Trump supporter, told the crowd in Gilbert that his loyalty shifted to DeSantis due to his efforts to unite the country.
“I wanted to be here today to let you know that we can, today, make a clean break with the past and focus on a much brighter future that is waiting on us today,” Hixon said.
Before DeSantis arrived in the Midlands, South Carolina’s Democratic Party held a press conference to condemn the Florida governor’s policies to ban abortion after six weeks, pull books from schools and make it easier to carry a concealed weapon. Democratic Party Chair Christale Spain said Florida’s policies paint an ominous picture of what DeSantis would do to the country.
But Beaufort resident Vanessa Knox, who voted for Trump in 2020, told The Post and Courier her enthusiasm for the former president is slipping. Knox said Trump has “hit a wrong note” for her on several issues. She said she attended the event to “get a better sense of DeSantis” because his track record of accomplishments as governor of Florida caught her attention.
“I would really like to see somebody really take on this woke culture, and I think DeSantis has boldly stood up against it,” Knox said. “I’m in favor of that.”