Florida Republicans cheer, Democrats pan DeSantis' presidential announcement
Thu, May 25, 2023 3:14 PM
By Andrew Powell, The Center Square
Florida reaction to Gov. Ron DeSantis' Wednesday announcement of his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination fell along party lines, with state Republicans supportive and Democrats critical.
Democrats had more to say about the candidacy than Republicans. Florida House Minority Leader Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, posted a lengthy thread on Twitter, calling DeSantis a "divisive bully."
Driskell also stated that DeSantis "punches down" on anyone that disagrees with his agenda, and called his abortion ban an extremist move. Driskell also had the opportunity to mock the technical issues that delayed the announcement for nearly an hour.
"Despite his announcement’s technical problems, today was historic: Ron DeSantis’ relentless ambition has pushed him to declare his intention to be the second-place finisher in the GOP primary for President of the United States of America." Driskell wrote.
Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, posted a statement about the announcement and called DeSantis an extremist.
"Governor Ron DeSantis is an extremist who preaches about freedom while he strips away our freedoms as Floridians. He does not care about the needs of everyday people and Americans should reject him as a candidate for President," Eskamani posted on Twitter.
Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, one of DeSantis’ biggest supporters, supported the announcement.
Rep. Alex Andrade, R- Pensacola, took to Twitter to defend DeSantis running for president, after DeSantis was called "out of touch" by Trump White House Assistant Karoline Leavitt on foreign policy and immigration.
"Trump just talked about how big his "button" was… Who says they like Gavin FREAKING Newsom because he says nice things about them?! @GavinNewsom is a "coked out" megalomaniac who made every child BUT HIS OWN get vaccinated… I support the R who DIDN'T platform Fauci." Andrade said.
Hosted by tech billionaire Elon Musk, DeSantis used Twitter to officially make his announcement.
"American decline is not inevitable, it is a choice. And we should choose a new direction, a path that will lead to American revitalization. I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback." DeSantis said during his announcement.
The second-term GOP governor won't be resigning to pursue a White House bid. DeSantis will remain Florida’s governor after he signed into law SB 7050 on Wednesday, which ended the requirement that a Florida elected official resign to run for higher office.