Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has finally officially filed paperwork to launch his 2024 presidential bid.
“Our border is a disaster, crime infests our cities, the federal government makes it harder for families to make ends meet, and the president flounders,” DeSantis says in a video announcing his campaign.
“Decline is a choice,” he adds.
The Florida governor continued:
Righting the ship requires restoring sanity to our society, normalcy to our communities, and integrity to our institutions. Truth must be our foundation, and common sense can no longer be an uncommon virtue.
In Florida we proved that it can be done. We chose facts over fear, education over indoctrination, law and order over rioting and disorder. We held the line when freedom hung in the balance.
The Republican governor formally announced his campaign in a conversation with Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, on Wednesday evening on Twitter Spaces. His announcement followed months, if not years, of speculation that DeSantis would make a bid for the White House.
On Tuesday evening, Casey DeSantis posted a video to Twitter showing her husband backstage facing a massive American flag.
“They call it faith because in the face of darkness, you can see that brighter future,” a man narrates, as DeSantis buttons his jacket, preparing to go on stage. “A faith that our best days lay ahead of us. But is it worth the fight? Do I have the courage? Is it worth the sacrifice?”
“America has been worth it every single time,” the video concludes, as DeSantis strides on stage.
The announcement of DeSantis’ campaign is sure to draw the wrath of former President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized DeSantis and suggested that the Florida governor is disloyal for even entertaining thoughts of a presidential run, calling the Republican governor “Ron DeSanctimonious,” and describing him as “an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations.”
DeSantis, 44, won his reelection campaign in a landslide in November. He has been governor of Florida since 2019, and served as a member of Congress representing Florida’s 6th Congressional District from 2013 to 2018.
“Florida has consistently led the way on issues like keeping businesses open and kids in school, parental rights in education, standing up for law enforcement, and protecting our environment, all while enacting the largest tax-relief package in our state’s history,” DeSantis said in August when his team released “The DeSantis Playbook,” a guide to what he calls his “Freedom Agenda.” That guide is focused on law and order, parental rights, economic policy, and the environment.
“For the past three and a half years, Florida has led with a freedom-first agenda, and we’re just getting started,” he continued. “The DeSantis Playbook is a guide for those who are following our blueprint for freedom here in Florida.”
In April, DeSantis signed a heartbeat bill into law that bans most abortions in Florida if the unborn baby has a heartbeat. Some Republicans have suggested that DeSantis’ signing of the law would destroy his chances on the national stage.
The move, widely applauded by pro-life groups, followed controversy over former President Donald Trump’s midterm-elections abortion analysis. (Earlier this year, Trump suggested that abortion tanked GOP performances in the midterms in November.)
“It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” Trump said in a Truth Social post in early January. “I was 233-20! It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.”
“Also, the people that pushed so hard, for decades, against abortion, got their wish from the U.S. Supreme Court, & just plain disappeared, not to be seen again,” added the former president, who has not responded to requests for comment.
His remarks prompted concerns that GOP leaders would avoid discussing abortion during subsequent elections. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America issued a statement at the time noting that “the approach to winning on abortion in federal races, proven for a decade is this: State clearly the ambitious consensus pro-life position and contrast that with the extreme view of Democrat opponents.”
“We look forward to hearing that position fully articulated by Mr. Trump and all presidential candidates,” the organization said, adding, “There was ALSO a profound midterm lesson for future federal candidates: Those who adopted the Ostrich Strategy on abortion lose.”
On Wednesday, SBA Pro-Life America issued a statement praising DeSantis’ strong pro-life record.
“Ron DeSantis has continually delivered for the people of Florida, transforming the Sunshine State from a late-term abortion haven to one of the best states in the nation for unborn children and mothers,” SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said.
“His record proves that going on offense works to defeat pro-abortion extremists, and he does not back down from a worthy fight, whether it is standing up for parents’ right to protect their children or safeguarding unborn babies when their hearts are beating and when they can feel pain,” she added.
Dannefelser emphasized that in 2024, “it is critical that pro-life candidates show bold leadership and lay out a clear policy platform in contrast to their opponents who support abortion on demand up until birth, paid for by taxpayers.”
“The pro-life movement is looking for a national defender of life who will proudly advocate a minimum national standard to protect unborn children from painful abortions at least by 15 weeks—a standard backed by 72% of Americans—and who will work tirelessly to build consensus and gather the votes necessary in Congress,” she said. “We look forward to DeSantis and all contenders further outlining their pro-life vision and platform as the primary unfolds.”
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