US Republican leader Ron DeSantis sets platform on right | Donald Trump News
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – widely seen as a leading opponent of former United States President Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential ambitions – has laid out a right-wing vision for the country in an eye-opening speech.
DeSantis delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday to legislators in the Florida capital of Tallahassee. In the document, he presented himself as an alternative to Trump, who has faced eligibility questions since his supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Although the Yale- and Harvard-educated DeSantis has yet to officially announce his presidential intentions, his speech hinted at a national platform based on the right-wing issues he has championed. in Florida.
These include an aggressive stance against the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and culture war issues, including legislation targeting gender, race and sexuality education.
“We defied the experts. We beat the elites. We ignored the chatter. We did it our way, the Florida way,” DeSantis told state legislators in Tallahassee. “And the result is that we are the number one destination for our fellow Americans looking for a better life. “
DeSantis also ran through what he called a liberal “woke” response.
Tuesday’s speech kicked off a 60-day legislative session fueled by a Republican majority that is widely expected to be a showcase of DeSantis’ policy priorities.
Under DeSantis, state lawmakers are trying to extend a controversial ban on classroom discussions of sexuality and gender identity — currently through third grade — to eighth-graders, usually 12 or 13 years old. age Critics have dubbed the ban the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
DeSantis has also signed a bill that bars educators from teaching certain aspects of racial education in public schools.
Under his leadership, the state legislature is also seeking to expand gun rights, curb diversity efforts at state-run universities, end “medical authorization” of COVID-19 vaccine orders and expand on abortion restrictions.
Critics have accused DeSantis of focusing on polarizing issues to gloss over the rising cost of living, a distressed property insurance market and the threats of climate change that many people face. residence of the state.
“Now is not the time to rest on our laurels,” DeSantis told lawmakers. “We have the opportunity and indeed the responsibility to swing for the fences so that we can ensure that Florida remains number one. “
“Don’t worry about the chat class, ignore all the background noise, keep the compass north,” he said. “We’ll hold the line, we won’t back down. And I can promise you this: You haven’t seen anything yet.”
DeSantis has cited his Florida agenda as a model for the rest of the country. In his recently published book, The Courage to Be Free, the subtitle includes that idea: “Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival”.
Suspicious presidential bid
DeSantis is considered unlikely to formally announce a presidential campaign before the legislature finishes its work in May. So far, only Trump and his former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, have announced their bids for the Republican nomination.
However, DeSantis appears to be laying the groundwork for a presidential run. He took part in a high-profile donor rally last week in Florida and then left for California, where he delivered a broadside against what he argued was an overabundance of liberal.
Later this week, he will travel for the first time this year to Iowa, which will host the nation’s first Republican presidential caucus in 2024.
At recent speaking events, DeSantis has touted his re-election victory in November, in which he defeated his Democratic opponent by a whopping 1.5 million votes, the largest margin ever won. the state’s first ever Republican governor.
In his speech on Tuesday, he called the win a “debt” and a mandate, telling lawmakers: “Be bold our friend in this effort, we have a lot to accomplish.”
Opponents have warned against Republican lawmakers rubber-stamping a politician they see on the way to higher office.
The Democratic leader of the Florida House of Representatives, Fentrice Driskell, said she has never seen a governor with so much influence in state legislation.
“All this is driven by his desire. I think there are those in leadership who want to be close to this governor because they see it as an increase in power,” she said.
“But it’s everyday Floridians who pay the biggest cost. There is an economic cost built into every ruler’s cultural war. Every one of them,” she said.