Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a keynote speech Nov. 19 at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2022 leadership conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Some reports say DeSantis received a “rock star reception” at the event, which featured other potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders, according to Politico. DeSantis’ speech highlighted his nearly 20-point midterm elections victory in Florida. The governor also pointed out his efforts on combating domestic issues, such as keeping the state open during the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s economic environment and his fight against ideological education.
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He touted Florida as “the nation’s citadel of freedom” and “a refuge of sanity when the world went mad,” referring to his fight against COVID pandemic measures and restrictions, according to the speech recorded by CSPAN. He celebrated the decision to prevent Florida from becoming a “dystopia where people’s freedoms were curtailed and their livelihoods were destroyed.”
DeSantis later emphasized that Florida “will never ever surrender to the woke mob” and the state supports “the rights of parents to play a fundamental role” in their children’s education and upbringing, CSPAN recorded.
Beyond that, DeSantis highlighted his record on causes important to the RJC, such as relations with Israel and fighting anti-semitism. The speech ran for over 20 minutes and was one of many to take place over the weekend, Politico reported.
Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made critical comments about DeSantis to reporters, calling him a “young guy” whom the media is “focused” on, Politico reported. Other Republican governors and senators spoke at the event, such as Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott and Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
DeSantis did not mention former President Donald Trump in the speech and made no hints at his plans for the future, according to CSPAN’s record. He has emerged as a favorite to challenge Trump for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.