Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida responded assertively to former President Donald Trump's assertion that he played a pivotal role in turning Florida red during the California GOP convention. Trump had mockingly referred to DeSantis as "Ron DeSanctimonious" and boasted about his leading position among all 2024 Republican contenders in a recent poll. However, DeSantis seized the opportunity to emphasize that while Florida may have shifted towards the Republican party, Trump's efforts in Georgia and Arizona ultimately led to these states leaning blue, a development unfavorable to Republicans. DeSantis skillfully invoked the wisdom of Ronald Reagan, who famously stated that he didn't mind who received credit, to underscore his point.
DeSantis also indirectly voiced concerns about Trump's role in the growing national debt, a point he has consistently raised during his campaign. He highlighted that the current inflationary pressures gripping the nation are a direct consequence of excessive borrowing, money printing, and government spending, a trend that spans across both party lines, including the Trump administration. This criticism holds particular significance given the recent milestone of the national debt reaching a staggering $33 trillion. However, it's essential to acknowledge the unique challenges faced by the Trump administration, such as the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly contributed to the escalating national debt. Additionally, Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act also played a role in this mounting debt.
The tension between the DeSantis and Trump campaigns has been ongoing, and the California GOP convention only heightened it due to recent rule changes in delegate allocation. Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting DeSantis’s presidential campaign, withdrew resources from California when the state GOP proposed changes to delegate allocation, calling it “Trump-inspired rigging.” DeSantis acknowledged the upcoming Fox News debate with Governor Gavin Newsom of California during his speech. He emphasized that while statistics and back-and-forth arguments may be important, the real issue is the mass exodus of California residents to Florida, which he views as a sign of the failure of the California model.
In his speech, DeSantis emphasized several key initiatives he has championed as governor, such as the prohibition of specific protests, restrictions on certain classroom teachings, bolstering border security, and reducing crime. He confidently claimed that his gubernatorial track record positions him as the most qualified Republican candidate to lead the party in the years ahead. Concluding his address, DeSantis called upon California Republicans to rally for their individual freedoms and work together to safeguard the nation. In sum, DeSantis delivered a fervent and self-assured speech that underscored his conservative achievements and his vision for the future.