Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis ripped California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom during a speech Sunday in the state, saying Californians are leaving the state in droves to live in Florida, where they can freely live.
“I know 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,” said DeSantis at the beginning of the speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library located in Simi Valley.
DeSantis emphasized that President Reagan “understood the vital role that government had to play” and that it could be a “negative force if not applied properly,” He said he governed Florida throughout the Covid-19 pandemic with the same understanding.
“And I think if you look over the last four or five years, and you look at the performances of individual states, and you compare Florida versus California, New York, Illinois, some of those other states, we have had a great experiment, a great experiment, a great test in governing philosophies,” said DeSantis. “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.”
“And if you look over the last four years, we’ve witnessed a great American exodus from states governed by leftist politicians imposing leftist ideology and delivering poor results, and you’ve seen massive gains in states like Florida, who are governing according to the tried and true principles that President Reagan held dear,” DeSantis continued. “From the beginning of this state’s history, all the way until this last four or five years, people beat a path to California. You didn’t beat a path away from California. And yet now, you see the state hemorrhaging population.”
According to Gov. DeSantis, when California became a “biomedical security state” because of outside pressure from political ideology instead of data, Florida became a beacon of freedom.
“And I can tell you, we had families move from the Pacific coast just for the fact that we had schools open in Florida when you didn’t have them open in many other states. We did things like ban vaccine passports in the state of Florida. States said, ‘You want to go stay in a hotel, go to a restaurant, you got to cough up your vax papers on these mRNA shots.’ And we said that’s none of their business. Everyone has a right to participate in society. That’s a personal choice that you make whether to take that or not, and we’re not going to let you be excluded,” explained DeSantis.
“Now, what ended up happening because we did that one of the things that ended up happening was in 2021, Florida set a record for domestic tourism,” said DeSantis. “If you compare the change in tourism in California from 2019 to 2021, California tourism declined by 22%.”
Gov. DeSantis kicks off release of new book with appearances
DeSantis addressed a crowd of more than 1,300 attendees at the library. Ahead of the event, vandals targeted the library with graffiti reading “Ron DeFascist,” according to KTLA and the Simi Valley Police. According to reports, library employees were able to clean up the paint before the governor’s visit.
Sunday, the event served as a kick-off to DeSantis’ new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” released on Tuesday. The governor is considered a likely candidate for the 2024 presidential race but has not officially announced his candidacy.
In his book, Governor DeSantis revealed a proposal to “Make American Florida” and said it would require “successfully combating a lot of powerful, elite institutions” in the critical pursuit of freedom.
The new book details DeSantis’ approach to dealing with the pandemic, which often opposed the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The governor was often the target of liberal attacks.
In the book, the governor argued the attacks were a “price worth paying” for leading his state.
“A governor who leads by aggressively pursuing policies that defy the leftist ideology of the nation’s elites will face fire — not only by the legacy media but also from activist groups, Big Tech, and corporate America,” wrote DeSantis. “When I took strong stands against the prevailing narrative on draconian coronavirus policies, I may have been vilified by the usual suspects, but I was able to save the livelihoods of millions of people throughout Florida.”