DeSantis gives college talk: ‘Best defense is a good offense’

DeSantis Michigan
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a Midland County Republican Party breakfast in Midland, Mich., on Thursday, April 6, 2023. DeSantis visited the central Michigan community for a county GOP event Thursday before heading to speak at Hillsdale College. (Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times via AP) Kaytie Boomer/AP

DeSantis gives college talk: ‘Best defense is a good offense’

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Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) claimed that his governorship was not a “dictatorship” and that the best “defense” to negative commentary is a good “offense.”

DeSantis told a crowd of college students and faculty at Hillsdale College on Thursday that although the media in Florida liked to paint him as a dictator, he focused more on the powers he was given as the executive leader of the state.


“Being elected the chief executive of the state is not the same as being elected the dictator of the state, as much as the media tries to act like we do that,” DeSantis said.

“We had a good sense of where the pressure points were. We knew how we could use our executive leverage. I knew what my powers were vis-a-vis local government. I removed people like the sheriff of Broward after Parkland. I removed supervisors of elections. I removed a George Soros-funded prosecutor in Tampa,” he added.

Ron DeSantis – Hillsdale College

DeSantis expounded that staff loyalty is a key part of the success of his agenda.

“The reality is that in politics, you have people that can be drawn that are bringing their own agenda. If you have any other agenda, pack your bags and leave,” DeSantis said.

“If you’re not doing anything offensively, then the Left and the media just start shooting at you all the time. They still shoot at me, but they always miss the target because the minute they start complaining about one thing, I’m off doing the next thing, so the best defense is a good offense. So that’s what we did,” he continued.

DeSantis did not touch on any plans to run for the White House, but Republican polling has him as one of two front-runners for the GOP nomination should he elect to do so. The other is former President Donald Trump, who was indicted by a grand jury recently and arraigned in Manhattan on Tuesday.


DeSantis also touched on his conservative agenda in the speech on Thursday, touting successes such as legislation addressing critical race theory, banning biologically male students who identify as transgender from competing with female students, and his recent ban on abortion that outlaws the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. He also highlighted his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he claimed was driven by “data.”

The Florida governor won reelection by nearly 20 percentage points during the 2022 midterm elections.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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