Gov. Ron DeSantis, of Florida, watches the foursome matches during the Walker Cup golf tournament at the Seminole Golf Club on Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Juno Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
UPDATED 8:03 AM PT – Monday, May 24, 2021
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R=Fla.) headlined the Allegheny County GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Florida Republican recently highlighted some of the major issues facing the U.S. such as the crisis festering at the southern border, pandemic-related lockdowns and the mainstream media.
DeSantis said the GOP can not go back to the “failed Republican establishment of yester-year.” He touted his efforts to ensure Floridian’s freedoms were secure during the pandemic and fought to keep his state open.
“While in all these locked down states closed schools, shuttered businesses and destroyed lives were the norm,” he stated. “In Florida we have had schools open the entire school year. Our businesses are thriving and we saved millions of livelihoods from the brunt of lockdowns.”
DeSantis discussed Florida’s response to the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots last summer, highlighting his state’s work to back the blue and allocate necessary funding to law enforcement. The governor also pointed to the state’s decision to ban critical race theory in Florida’s schools.
“And in Florida, we have banned the use of critical race theory and other leftist ideologies,” he stated. “Teaching people to hate their country or to hate each other is not worth one dime of tax payer dollars in our school system.”
DeSantis talked about the legacy of Silicon Valley, pointing out the origins of social media were good for the GOP as it gave members a platform President Trump used effectively in 2016 to get elected. He went on to note, however, that Big Tech is now smothering free speech and highlighted his state’s work to fight back against censorship.
“Within the next couple of weeks, I will sign the first piece of legislation that any state has done to fight back against Big Tech censorship to allow you, if your censored or de-platformed, to sue Big Tech,” he explained. “…To make sure that their algorithms and the things they are using…all these other things that effect our lives everyday in ways…is transparent.”
DeSantis slammed Joe Biden’s weak response to the border as well seemingly taking aim at former President George W. Bush’s push for an amnesty coalition. He condemned Bush’s attempts to lobby Republicans into helping the Biden administration pass amnesty for around 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
“We have to reject open borders we have to stand for the rule of law in American sovereignty and we cannot be for amnesty in any form,” he asserted. “We’ve got to stand with the American people and we have to put Americans first.”
DeSantis’ comments come amid recent polling that shows Bush’s veiled attempt to revive his failed “Any Willing Worker” policy is widely unpopular among Republican voters.
The Florida governor ended his speech by encouraging the crowd to not back down and to stand their ground, noting he has only just begun to fight.