Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, fresh off a huge reelection victory, laid out the path forward for the Republican Party during a 25-minute speech on Saturday at the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
DeSantis made clear there is no reason why Republicans can’t have better election results than they expected this midterm cycle in the years ahead, mostly by recounting GOP successes in the Sunshine State.
“We added four new Republican congressmen to the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Florida,” he said. “We secured supermajorities in the Florida legislature, the most Republicans we’ve ever had in Florida history.
“We helped elect 26 new conservative school board members all across the state of Florida. And we even won the state House seat that includes Miami Beach, not typically viewed as a Republican stronghold,” he continued.
“And because of the support of so many of you to our campaign, we delivered the greatest gubernatorial victory in the history of the state of Florida,” he continued. “We dominated with independent voters, we secured record margins with Hispanic voters, we swept the suburbs all across the state of Florida. Our margins with rural voters were gravity-defying, we won by double digits, Miami Dade County. We won for the first time in almost 40 years, Palm Beach County.”
He said those results ought to mean that Florida is providing a “blueprint for success” for all GOP candidates.
“And I think some of the things that we do that work are we’re all about exercising leadership, and delivering results for the people that we represent,” he said. “I did not take any polls when I became governor all the way through this entire term.
“The job of a leader is not to stick your finger in the wind and try to contort yourself to wherever public opinion may be trending on one given moment. No, the job of a leader is to set out a vision, to execute that vision, to show people that it’s the right vision and to deliver concrete results. And when you do that, the people respond,” he added.
He went on to highlight the policy objectives he took on during his first term, which included wading into the culture war.
“What we’ve shown in Florida is you can stand up for truth, you can stand on principle, you can fight the woke elite, and you can win,” he said. “And I think this is important because the survival of the American experiment requires a revival of the enduring American principles that make this country unique. And Florida’s formula is everything we do is rooted in those founding principles of our country, we douse it with a very heavy dose of common sense, which is in very short supply nowadays. And we buttress that, with having the courage to lead on issues where you know, you may get incoming fire, but that’s the price of leadership nowadays.”
“Anything you do that’s meaningful, you are going to have people that are going to shoot at you, they’re going to take potshots at you, they’re going to criticize you, they’re going to smear you, you got to be willing to stand strong, you got to be willing to take those hits, and keep on going,” DeSantis said. “But guess what, when you stand up for what’s right, when you show people you’re willing to fight for them, they will walk over broken glass barefoot to come vote for you. And that’s exactly what they did for me on November 8 in record numbers. But what we’ve shown is people respond to strong leadership.”
The governor also noted that the past couple of years under President Joe Biden’s leadership have not been easy and that Florida has shown that “in times like these, there is no substitute for victory.”
“We in Florida are the light, freedom will reign supreme with Florida leading the way,” he noted further. “I can tell you this, we’ve got a lot more to do and I have only begun to fight.”