WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Democrats in Florida reacted to the announcement of a Ron DeSantis presidential campaign Wednesday by talking about the Florida governor’s record.
“He has gone more extreme than President Trump on almost every single issue and it is now going to be up to the American people to see beyond him, to see for who he is, which is very authoritarian,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said.
DeSantis achieved most of what this past legislative session with bills that included banning diversity, equity and inclusion at colleges, a six-week abortion ban and permitless carry.
Fried said DeSantis’ culture wars and efforts to fight “woke-ism” ignored the everyday problems of Floridians such as soaring homeowners’ insurance and a housing crisis.
“People are tired of the divisiveness, tired of the hate-filled speeches from the Republicans and extreme right and, unfortunately, that’s where Ron has lived the last few years, taking the state further and further right,” Fried said.
Former Florida Rep. Omari Hardy, who is from Palm Beach County and now lives in Washington, said DeSantis moved more to the right ever since he was viewed as a presidential candidate.
“I think a lot of folks here in Washington see Gov. DeSantis as a paper tiger who can get away with certain things in Florida that he can’t get away with on a long, bruising presidential campaign,” Hardy said.