Gov. Ron DeSantis Flaunts Florida, Blasts California’s Left-Leaning Leaders in Simi Valley Speech

Though DeSantis is not yet an official GOP presidential candidate, his trip to California offered him an opportunity to rub elbows with Golden State Republican donors and tacitly point out what would set his potential presidency apart from a second term for Donald Trump.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Southern California on Sunday and delivered a speech that while billed as a book talk, had all the trimmings of a presidential campaign in a state that will play a key role in determining the GOP candidate.

The majority of the speech, which took place in front of a large and friendly crowd at Simi Valley’s Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, consisted of DeSantis contrasting what he sees as the manifold successes of Florida against the failures of California and liberals writ large.

The event was ostensibly a celebration for his upcoming book “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” but it also offered DeSantis an opportunity to rub elbows with the Golden State’s Republican donors and tacitly point out what would set a DeSantis presidency apart from a second term for Trump.

In the hour-long talk DeSantis lambasted the education, COVID, taxation and public safety policies in such deep-blue states as California and New York and pointed to his leadership in Florida as the perfect foil to that of left-leaning governors.

“I think we’ve gotten it right on all the key issues and I think these liberal states have gotten it wrong,” he said. “I think it all goes back to this woke mind virus that’s infected the left.”

DeSantis said that most Americans oppose “woke ideology” and have “voted with their feet” in terms of which states’ philosophy they prefer.

“If you look over the last four years, we’ve witnessed a great American exodus from states governed by leftist politicians imposing leftist ideology and delivering poor results,” he said. “And, you’ve seen massive gains in states like Florida, who are governing according to the tried and true principles that President Reagan held dear.”

The hour-long speech was met with cheers and applause from attendees at the Reagan Library, part of nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the former president’s conservative principles and legacy.

“This was a spectacular, top-notch presidential speech, so he has definitely set the stage that he is a contender,” said Ann-Marie Villicana, an executive chairman member of the Reagan Library. “At one point I blurted out loud ‘we need to move to Florida’.”

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Although DeSantis has yet to formally toss his hat in the ring as a presidential candidate, many interpreted Sunday’s speech, and his evening GOP fund-raiser down the freeway in Orange County, as early-stage campaigning.

Simultaneously, Trump amped up his campaign over the weekend, casting himself Saturday as the only Republican candidate who can build on his White House legacy but shied away from directly critiquing his potential rivals — including DeSantis.

Trump, giving the headlining address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, told a cheering crowd that he was engaged in his “final battle” as he tries to return to the White House.

“We are going to finish what we started,” he said. “We’re going to complete the mission. We’re going to see this battle through to ultimate victory.”

While CPAC was once a must-stop for candidates mulling Republican presidential runs, DeSantis and other major likely contenders skipped this year’s gathering as the group has increasingly become aligned with Trump. Indeed, it’s the Reagan Library that has become a popular stop for potential GOP contenders, from recently announced candidate Nikki Haley to former Vice President Mike Pence, among others. Trump himself has not spoken there.

Though DeSantis, seen as Trump’s biggest potential rival, is frequently a subject of name-calling and other attacks in Trump’s social media posts and in interviews, he wasn’t mentioned directly in Trump’s address before conservative activists, who earlier in the day applauded when an old video clip of the Florida governor was shown in a montage.

He took only a veiled jab at DeSantis, calling out those who have proposed raising the age for Social Security or privatizing Medicare — positions DeSantis has expressed support for in the past, but has since abandoned. “We’re not going to mess with Social Security as Republicans,” DeSantis recently said.

Trump told the crowd, “If that’s their original thought, that’s what they always come back to.”

DeSantis, meanwhile, was on the other side of the country for his Reagan Library address and an appearance at a reception and dinner for the Republican Party of Orange County Sunday evening. Tickets for the event ranged from $500 for general admission to $1,500, which includes an autographed copy of the governor’s book and photo opportunities.

“He knows the red states are not going to be a problem, so I think he’s testing out his message to the to the blue states,” said Anngel Benoun , an executive chairman member of the Reagan Library. “He was trying out several different topics in order to see what got a good response, what got a lukewarm response and what got the standing ovation.”

DeSantis indeed succeeded in eliciting a standing ovation, not only at the end of his speech, but also in the middle when he spoke about how gender and sexuality is taught in the classroom.

“They should not be teaching a second-grader that they can choose their gender; that is wrong and that is not going to happen in the state of Florida,” he said, prompting audience members to rise to their feet.

The governor also denounced teaching critical race theory in schools, called California’s slow return to in-person learning during the pandemic a “disgrace” and said that teachers unions in California have a “pernicious influence” and are pursuing a “partisan agenda.”

Under DeSantis’s leadership Florida was one of the first states to fully resume in-person schooling in August 2020. In contrast, many California schools remained virtual for the majority of the 2020 to 2021 school year.

“He focused so much on education, so that also tells me he’s going to be trying to grab back the female vote that Trump couldn’t get,” said Benoun.

Trump won only 39% of the female vote in 2016 and 44% in 2020. DeSantis, on the other hand, snared 52% of the female vote during his 2022 gubernatorial victory– an achievement he flaunted on Sunday alongside his record-breaking margin of victory.

“We went from winning by 32,000 votes in 2018 to winning by over 1.5 million votes in 2022, he said. “It was the largest percentage of the vote that any Republican governor candidate received in Florida history.”

DeSantis also bragged about capturing over 60% of the Hispanic vote, saying he did this because he didn’t pander to particular racial groups, but treated everyone as an individual.

He did not, however, discuss his polling among Black voters.

“That could be a big problem for him,” said Benoun. “Because, remember, Trump got the highest percentage of the African American vote of any Republican candidate.”

In fact, DeSantis did not mention the word Black throughout his entire speech, even though he touched on many race related issues including summer 2020 riots.

“We saw destructive riots in the summer of 2020 that were aided and abetted by feckless leftist politicians at the local level. We saw businesses trashed we saw billions in damages. We saw dozens of people killed, all without standing up for law and order,” DeSantis said. “We let it be known that would not be tolerated in the Sunshine State.”

DeSantis also did not mention Trump directly, but did emphasize attributes of his leadership that are different from the former president’s, Benoun pointed out.

If DeSantis does declare his candidacy, Trump will be a key rival. A recent Berkeley IGS survey of registered Republicans found DeSantis to be leading a field of potential and declared 2024 presidential candidates — trailed closely by Trump.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

The Possible 2024 Presidential Run of Governor Gavin Newsom

With speculation over a possible run building, the Globe takes a quick look at how successful that would be

Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing into law of a bill that allows lawsuits to be made against gun makers for negligence on Tuesday, more and more media outlets began speculating that he may be running for President in 2024. And while both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have said that they would be still be running in two years, the fact remains that Newsom may try and swoop in and steal the nomination away. So let’s take a look at how Newsom could possibly accomplish that.

First off, Newsom seems to have been building up to something big in recent months. He has taken strong stances on gun control and abortion recently in reaction to an uptick of mass shootings and the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, bringing him national exposure. He’s also put ads in other states, most notably his July 4th Florida ad, which is either, depending on who you are, a pro-California hurrah or possibly the cringiest political ad in recent political history. Even more, Newsom and one of the current Republican frontrunners, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have been in a sniping war for months over their states. So we may already be seeing the 2024 or 2028 political battle right now.

All this, plus Newsom not saying that he won’t run in 2024, makes it in the cards that he is a go.

Next is background. And let’s push out what he did in office quickly and just look at his elected offices on his resume:

  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2004
  • San Francisco Mayor from 2004 to 2011
  • Lieutenant Governor from 2011 to 2019
  • Governor from 2019 on.

On paper, that is an impressive climb with a lot of experience that anyone with that, regardless of party, does have quite the pedigree for higher office.

But let’s push all of what he did back in. And look, I typed “Gavin Newsom controversies” into Google and got 909,000 pages back. When I was gathering links of what he had done just as Governor from the Globe’s archives, it looked like I was going into the Library of Congress. Even giving a highlight reel would still make for a small book. Suffice it to say that for every good or successful thing Newsom has backed, such as the Care not Cash program in San Francisco in the early 2000’s that replaced giving straight cash to the homeless for medical care and other health programs, there has been one other that had disastrous consequences, like extramarital affairs with wives of his own aides.

Looking at a possible run for Governor Gavin Newsom

If he were to run, Biden and others would have a field day with Newsom’s past. To his credit, Newsom has tried to make amends for some of his more negative actions, like seeking treatment for his alcoholism. But other things would not be so easy, especially on a national stage. Affairs are a notable political killer, or at the very least are guaranteed to bring you down at least 20 points in voter popularity. Democrats in particular can bring up issues that would hurt him within his own party, like his failure to make San Francisco a sanctuary city in 2009 despite his promises.

Again, he does have several “a broken clock is right twice a day” moments and has been shown to give a damn about several issues, but his time as Governor will be brought heavily into the spotlight in a possible run for the Democratic nomination. And whatever the Democrats don’t fire on him, you can be sure the Republican candidate will if he manages to get the nomination.

Like his propensity for ignoring his own laws and guidelines. As the Globe has pointed out, he has had a long history of this, but in the last few years he has, multiple times, ignored his own mask mandates, and has ignored state travel bans, like his recent Montana outing. Ted Cruz got this once badly looked at by the press last year for going to Mexico during a state crisis. For Newsom, this is a regular thing.

And that’s not even getting into the fact that he would be running only a few years after a major recall election against him, which no presidential candidate has really done before. For anyone running against him, that is a huge issue to use that, for most politicians, would be insurmountable.

Telling, Newsom is also behind in polls to Biden despite the President facing a growing disapproval rating. He’s still ahead of Harris in a possible run, but if other candidates join the fray, Newsom may not have as big a shot.

This is by no means a full vet. Many, MANY things haven’t even been mentioned, both positive and negative, that Newsom has done in the past 25 years of holding elected office. Most readers can probably think of a few things that the Governor has done that has affected them personally. Again, all of that is important, but this isn’t a book about the ups and downs of Newsom’s life. This is just a quick look at what if Newsom does give it a go.

And, on the outside, right now, it doesn’t look like he’ll do well. Biden is more popular than Newsom, not to mention a growing favoritism of Republicans nationwide right now. That’s not to say that Newsom could reach that point, but he would need to find a way to greatly counter all the points against him. And in a debate, opponents would just need to start talking about his recall, or how homelessness is still prevalent, or the housing situation, or wildfire containment, or his past affairs, or maskgate, or a plethora of other topics, and he would have to go into defensive mode.

Click here to read the full article in the California Globe

Trump Pulls Off Biggest Upset in U.S. History

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Donald Trump is going to be the next president of the United States.

The billionaire businessman who never before held elected office shocked America and the world, defeating Hillary Clinton in an extraordinary rebuke to the nation’s political class after an ugly and divisive race that will go down as the most stunning upset in American history.

Trump did so decisively, stomping across the electoral map with wins in the four biggest battlegrounds of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He defied the polls and pundits after a scorched-earth campaign against Clinton, the Republican establishment, and basic decorum, toppling the blue wall of states that Clinton had supposedly constructed to keep the White House in Democratic hands.

The nation, the markets and the world stood stunned, wondering what would come next. The Dow Futures sank as much as 750 points. The Mexico peso plunged.

“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” Trump said in a victory speech, following a concession call from Clinton at nearly 3 a.m. Eastern. “It’s time.”

Trump led an unseen rebellion of working-class voters, most of them white and so disgusted by a stalled status quo that they voted for a candidate promising dramatic change, even as Trump set disapproval records for a winning candidate. He also tapped into ethnic antagonism, vowing strict immigration controls, a ban on Muslims and a deportation force, promising an era of restoration.

“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” Trump declared.

Clinton had been heavily favored to win. She led national polls and in most battleground states heading into the election. Her allies were so confident that a supportive super PAC had actually redirected millions to other races.

But Trump had been underestimated from the first day of his candidacy, when he descended the gilded escalators of Trump Tower to bash Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” He went on to dispatch 16 rivals in the Republican primary before mounting a vicious campaign against Clinton in which he paraded her husband’s infidelities, repeatedly called her corrupt and questioned whether she could govern as a woman.

For 17 months, the reality television showman mesmerized the public with his unvarnished tweets, constant television presence and raucous mass rallies. His full-throttle grip on the national imagination enriched the news media and eroded standards of political civility.

It made him a hero to his fans. And they voted in droves. …

Click here to read the full article from Politico