Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
ORLANDO – There was no one more popular than Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on the first full day of CPAC. DeSantis took the stage for his Thursday speech to a thunderous standing ovation, and his momentum never subsided.
DeSantis might have worked from a checklist as he presented an itemized criticism of all things preferrable to the American left – the presidency of Joe Biden, critical race theory, vaccine mandates and passports, mask mandates, transgender issues, and government reliance on what DeSantis referred to as “health bureaucrats.”
“From the very beginning, we refused to let this state descend into some type of ‘Faucian’ dystopia where people’s freedoms are curtailed and their livelihoods are destroyed,” DeSantis said. He later quipped, “Florida has defeated Fauci-ism.”
DeSantis also referred to inflation as “rampant Biden-flation” because, he said, “The inflation is because of [Biden’s] policies, and we’re not going to let anyone forget that.”
The governor also celebrated numerous accomplishments that were popular with the CPAC crowd, among them the registration of record numbers of Republican voters, passage of anti-rioting laws, and appointment of more conservative justices in the Florida Supreme Court.
However, even as DeSantis’ speech was stopped often for applause, his most popular remark, one that resulted in a sustained cheer and standing ovation, was his celebration of having outlawed sanctuary citizens in Florida.
“We are in the process of getting money from the legislature so that if Biden is dumping illegal aliens into Florida from the Southern border, I’m rerouting them to Delaware,” DeSantis said.
Another particularly popular portion of the speech was DeSantis’ remarks on critical race theory, which has been banned in Florida classrooms because, the governor said, “we will not spend taxpayer money to teach our kids to hate our country or to hate each other.”
The governor also championed a greater emphasis on civics education, which DeSantis hopes to affect through requiring exams for graduating seniors and offering $3,000 stipends to teachers to take a civics bootcamp.
“Yes, we are against CRT, but what are we for,” DeSantis asked. “I’m for the Constitution. I’m for the Bill of Rights.”
DeSantis’ speech was the culmination of a day’s worth of positivity for both Florida and the man who leads the state.
Even clips of the governor’s remarks that played during CPAC video packages garnered applause, and speaker after speaker praised Florida for the nature in which that state, under DeSantis’ leadership, had responded to COVID-19.
Part of the positivity was likely due Florida having agreed to host CPAC 2022, which was traditionally held in Maryland.
“Not every Republican does the right thing all the time,” CPAC co-chair Matt Schlapp said during his introduction of DeSantis. “[We] have a governor in the state Maryland [Larry Hogan] that said it would kill people if we had CPAC.” Schlapp later added, “We looked around the country, and we were looking for a home. And what have thousands of Americans done, looking for a new home? They’ve come to the free state of Florida.”
Schlapp concluded his introduction by saying, “We’re here today because there is a governor in the state of Florida … who’s made every right move. You name the topic. And with his steady leadership he’s been a voice for the entire country.”
DeSantis, like Schlapp and other speakers, had plenty of praise for Florida, which he called a “citadel of freedom” for the world.
“[The] record numbers [of domestic tourists visiting Florida] include a number of lockdown politicians who lock down their own people, restrict their own people, mandate,” DeSantis said, “governors, mayors, big TV hosts. They criticize Florida, and the first chance they get, what do they do? They escape to freedom in the State of Florida.”
To watch the full speech, click here.