DeSantis Defends Record as Governor While Kicking Off Presidential Bid: ‘Claiming that Florida Is Unsafe Is a Total Farce’

In a sprawling Twitter Circles conversation with Elon Musk, the politician promises to take on bureaucracy, border problems and “wokeness”

Ron DeSantis Don't Say Gay Disney
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially entered the 2024 presidential race Wednesday, making his announcement in a conversation with Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces.

“Buckle up when I get in there,” DeSantis said. “The status quo is unacceptable.”

He then launched into a list of “woke” Democratic politics that he plans to upend.

Noting his ongoing conflict with Disney, DeSantis warned that the company was being too active in pushing LGBTQ+ values on children, and did not deserve the special deals the company enjoyed from the state on its Disney World property in Orlando.

“They want to be treated differently,” DeSantis said, adding that for a long time “Disney was not accountable to anyone.”

DeSantis said he would revolt against “wokeness,” especially when it came to public schools.

DeSantis also said he supports the Parental Rights in Education Act, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law because it prohibits discussion of sex and gender identity in the classroom.

He said he will aggressively address issues with the U.S.-Mexico border, and “won’t take no for an answer” in finding a solution.

“It’s an absolutely insane system,” DeSantis said of the southern border. “We will get started on that on day one.”

DeSantis said a prime example of not deferring to bureaucracy was his position of not “shutting down” Florida during the Covid-18 pandemic. He said he followed science and common sense rather than shutting down under pressure from the federal government.

“I faced a huge blow back,” for those Covid policies, DeSantis said. “There was a concerted effort to try to stifle dissent.”
DeSantis said freedom of debate should always be the cornerstone of running the country.

“We have a lot of work to do to make sure the country gets back on track,” he said.

DeSantis said this philosophy does not conflict with his positions about public schools in Florida. He said Florida is about “protecting children,” and his administration has opposed what he calls efforts to overexpose children to “wokeness” messaging about sexuality and LGBTQ+ rights.

DeSantis said stories about him banning books in Florida schools is a product of “the left and the media colluding… they create these hoaxes.” But he did say that schools should have the option to determine that some books are not appropriate for certain ages of school children.

He also blasted accusations that Florida is not a safe state for travelers.

“Claiming that Florida Is unsafe Is a total farce,” he said. He cited statistics that show no Florida cities rank among the top 25 crime-ridden cities in the United States.

Meanwhile, Trump spent much of Wednesday on his Truth Social Network, mocking DeSantis and misspelling his name. At one point, Trump suggest that DeSantis “desperately needs a personality transplant.”

“I got 1.2 Million more votes in Florida than DeSanctus,” Trump wrote. “Also, Bill Hemmer at FoxNews just used an old April Poll showing me leading by 51% to 25%. Why doesn’t Fox get a more up to date poll, 72% to 18%, with the other candidates much lower. Just like 2016!!! It’s why people are leaving FoxNews. P.S. Without me, DeSanctus would have lost the Primary and the General.”