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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a staunch Republican, was NOT impressed by President Joe Biden’s address last Wednesday to Congress. If anything, he found it rather sad and weak, and even a tad dystopian.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Watters World” late Saturday, the governor argued that the whole affair, from how many people were allowed to attend to the fact that everybody was masked, gave a bad vibe.
“It seemed to me to be almost like out of a dystopian novel. Everyone’s vaccinated. You have the VP and the speaker behind [him] wearing these masks. You hardly have anybody in the chamber. It really just sent a message that America is on its back right now. It didn’t exude strength,” DeSantis said.
“And I think his pedestrian delivery of it obviously, you know, he’s not the sharpest tool in the toolbox anymore. I think that was readily apparent. So I thought it was really sad, to be honest with you.”
These remarks prompted host Jesse Watters to ask the question likely on many people’s minds, namely whether the governor feels he has what it takes to go up against Biden in 2024.
“You have been named as one of the leading contenders to secure the Republican nomination [in 2024]. I know you’re not going to make a big announcement here on ‘Watters World,’ but you kind of have to be flattered that people are putting you that high up in the conversation. What’s going through your mind?”
DeSantis replied by claiming that he isn’t really thinking about 2024 at the moment — he’s focused solely on his job as governor. Watters didn’t appear to believe him, though.
“Well, that’s the thing, Jesse, it’s not anything that I’m thinking about or positioning myself [for]. I’m doing my job here in Florida,” the governor said.
He added that he’s been focused on taking on big tech, putting a stop to rioting by left-wing extremists, cracking down on the Chinese Community Party’s influence and strengthening election integrity laws.
Dems scream foul as Gov. DeSantis signs Florida’s ‘anti-riot’ pro-law enforcement bill into law https://t.co/YmXbRHSHXk
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) April 20, 2021
“So we’re really, I think, leading by example, and I think folks are noticing that. And I think there’s a lot of people throughout the country who’re like, ‘Man, I wish my state were more like Florida. Why aren’t we leading that way,'” the governor said.
Indeed, and some of these people may very well be hoping they have the opportunity to elect DeSantis to the White House in 2024 so that he can expand Florida’s policies to the entire country.
“And of course many people are pulling up the stakes and moving to Florida because we’ve really created this oasis of freedom. So we’re proud of that. But it’s not based on political posturing or positioning. It’s just based on getting things done down here for my folks,” the governor continued.
Published Wednesday by Echelon Insights, the latest 2024 poll shows that, assuming former President Donald Trump weren’t to run in 2024, DeSantis would lead the pack with 20 percent of votes, while former Vice President Pence would be in second place with 16 percent of votes.
— Echelon Insights (@EchelonInsights) April 28, 2021
What makes DeSantis particularly palatable to Republican voters is that his agenda would closely parallel that of former President Trump. For instance, late last month he explained to Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he’d start his presidency by securing the border.
“We banned sanctuary cities in Florida when I became governor, we did E-Verify for the first time ever, fought the business lobby to do that. I would fight for those policies on the federal level as well because we’ve got to get this immigration situation under control,” he said.
But one thing he’d do differently, the governor added, is more forcefully take on the bureaucracy, i.e., the “deep state.”
“Looking at what President Trump had to deal with, you know this bureaucracy of ours — there’s a lot of problems in that. And I think you need to be able to bring accountability to people in the bureaucracy. I mean if Donald Trump is elected president, he tries to do policy, and the bureaucracy tells him to go fly a kite. That’s not representative government,” he said.
“And I think we’ve allowed this to fester for years and years, and I think it’s at the point now where, even if a Republican wins the election, the other party still maintains control of the apparatus of the executive branch. And that can’t be the way this goes. You go in, you [should] have the ability to implement the agenda.”
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) April 23, 2021
The fact that he was willing to humor Carlson with a discussion on what he’d do as president seems to belie his claim to Watters that he isn’t thinking at all about 2024. This could be a very good sign for Republican voters.
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