During his inaugural presidential campaign event, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida passionately addressed his supporters in an early nominating state, expressing concerns about the United States’ imminent financial collapse. He attributed this perilous situation to President Biden’s recent debt ceiling agreement with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
DeSantis embarked on an extensive tour spanning three states and twelve cities, commencing with a rousing appearance at the Eternity Church in Clive, Iowa, located just west of Des Moines. His campaign, aptly named “Our Great American Comeback Tour,” aimed to restore the nation’s prosperity by ensuring Joe Biden’s return to his Delaware basement, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the President’s perceived lack of engagement and frequent vacations.
The Governor cleverly likened Florida to the “Iowa of the southeast,” garnering enthusiastic support from the crowd. He then shifted his focus to advocate for conservative policies and capable leadership, emphasizing that true leadership transcends mere entertainment and grandstanding. DeSantis took pride in Florida’s significant strides, particularly the enactment of the state’s stringent pro-life legislation, which he referred to as the strongest in modern Florida history. The audience predominantly comprised devout evangelical Christians.
DeSantis also criticized the recent debt deal struck between McCarthy and Biden, arguing that it perpetuated the nation’s journey towards financial ruin. He highlighted the alarming fact that the deal would authorize an additional $4 trillion in debt within a span of fewer than two years, exceeding the total accumulated debt of the past two centuries. The Governor raised concerns about the exorbitant spending levels incurred during the COVID era and expressed reservations about the substantial expansion of the Internal Revenue Service under the Biden administration.
Following a less conventional campaign debut on Twitter Spaces, which resulted in some missed opportunities for the announcement of his candidacy, DeSantis opted for a more traditional stump address on Tuesday. The event turned out to be a resounding success for his campaign, generating a record-breaking $8.2 million in donations within the first 24 hours.
DeSantis positioned himself as a conservative alternative to former President Donald Trump, his primary competitor within the Republican Party. He sought to cultivate an image of trustworthiness and electability, traits that distinguished him from his opponent.
The Governor also highlighted the border crisis, asserting that Mexican drug cartels wielded more control over border affairs than the United States government itself. He claimed that among the millions of illegal immigrants who entered the country, individuals on the terrorism watch list were also present. DeSantis attributed numerous deaths to the influx of fentanyl brought in by cartels, lamenting the grave consequences of their illicit activities.
Additionally, DeSantis touched upon the topic of Hunter Biden, insinuating that if he were a Republican, he would face severe legal consequences. He criticized the current bureaucratic system, labeling it unrecognizable to the Founding Fathers and asserting that it operated with biased regulations that favored elite members of society. The Governor believed that a Republican figure like Hunter Biden would have faced a lengthy prison sentence under these circumstances.
DeSantis received a wave of endorsements from prominent Iowa legislators, including Amy Sinclair, the president of the Iowa Senate, and Matt Windschitl, the majority leader of the Iowa House. The “Never Back Down” super PAC, supporting DeSantis, hailed this as the most significant number of endorsements from Iowa legislators during a GOP primary in recent memory.
Trump’s campaign, however, painted DeSantis as a “creature of the swamp” and an establishment supporter, alleging that he had voted to outsource American jobs, raise taxes, and dismantle Social Security and Medicare while serving in Congress. The former President is scheduled to campaign in Iowa, engaging with local Republicans, church leaders, and participating in a town hall meeting to be broadcasted on Fox News