CV NEWS FEED // Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially kicked off his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement Wednesday evening on a Twitter Space that featured the social media platform’s owner, Elon Musk.
DeSantis, a practicing Catholic, has served as the governor of Florida since January 2019. Previously, he was a three-term member of the House of Representatives and an officer in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
DeSantis’ tenure as governor has been marked with several legislative wins for social conservatives. In March 2022, he signed into law the Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibited classroom discussion of sexual topics up to the third-grade level. This widely popular legislation prompted a cascade of several other states enacting similar laws.
Less than a month later, DeSantis signed a law stripping the Disney corporation of its special privileges in the state after the entertainment conglomerate came out in favor of exposing young children to sexual material.
In November 2022, DeSantis was re-elected in a near 20-point landslide over his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist.
In DeSantis’ second term, the married father of three continued shepherding socially conservative policy through the state legislature. In March 2023, he signed a comprehensive school choice bill. In April, he signed a pro-life “Heartbeat” law protecting babies from abortions after six weeks of gestation, going much further than the 15-week ban he had signed a year earlier. In May, he signed a law against exposing children to sexually explicit drag shows and strip clubs.
DeSantis made an unprecedented decision by opting to announce his run live on Twitter – becoming the first major presidential candidate to do so. His announcement was delayed by roughly twenty minutes due to technical issues, likely due to the sheer volume of the hundreds of thousands of people who tuned in.
The space was hosted by Musk, who boasts over 140 million followers, and in March, surpassed former President Obama to be the most followed person on Twitter. He was joined by entrepreneur and investor David Sacks. “I think you broke the internet,” Sacks joshed DeSantis.
“I think the value here is high, to hear directly from presidential candidates,” added Musk. “To get a sense of how a candidate really is. Where it’s not just canned speeches and teleprompters. You can tell by some of the mistakes that it’s real.”
In announcing why he’s running for president, DeSantis stated:
I am running for President of the United States to lead our great American comeback.
We know our country’s going in the wrong direction. We see it with our eyes, and we feel it in our bones.
I don’t think it has to be this way. American decline is not inevitable, it is a choice. And we should choose a new direction, a path that will lead to American revitalization. We must restore sanity to our nation.
DeSantis railed against President Biden, the likely Democratic nominee, pointing out that the incumbent “takes his cues from the woke mob.” As president, DeSantis stressed that he would replace “the woke mind virus with reality, facts, and enduring principles.”
The governor’s announcement speech was followed by a question and answer period, which included guests such as anti-lockdown Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, parental rights activist and Critical Race Theory critic Chris Rufo, radio host Dana Loesch, and Congressman Thomas Massie.
During this period, DeSantis took time to explain his opposition to COVID lockdowns and mandates which played a huge role in his landslide re-election victory. “Do we go with the crowd, or do you look at the data yourself and go against the grain?” he said.
DeSantis ensured that if he was to become the nominee, he would unseat Biden and be inaugurated as the nation’s 47th President in January 2025.
“There is no substitute for victory. We must end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party. We must look forward, not backward.”