Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis kicked off his Iowa tour by focusing on policy specifics and Washington elites in a highly anticipated campaign speech.
DeSantis spoke outside of Des Moines, Iowa, at a campaign kickoff Tuesday night, marking his first visit to the crucial primary state since he launched his presidential campaign May 24 in a Twitter space with CEO Elon Musk. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: DeSantis Picks Up Four More New Hampshire State Rep Endorsements)
🚨 @RonDeSantis with the 🔥 from the GREAT state of Iowa:
“Our Great American Comeback starts by sending Joe Biden back to his basement in Delaware.” pic.twitter.com/Z9U9YPiEp7
— Team DeSantis (@TeamDeSantis) May 30, 2023
“Our great American comeback starts by sending [President] Joe Biden back to his basement in Delaware,” DeSantis said at the start of his speech. He quickly shifted his focus to the elites in Washington, DC, whom he attacked for plunging America “into the abyss.”
“Our country is going in the wrong direction. We can see it and we can feel it,” DeSantis said, before diving into the specific issues facing America.
He spoke about the surge of illegal migrants at the southern border, economic difficulties under the Biden administration, restrictions on energy production and the “unaccountable, weaponized administrative state.”
The Florida governor pointed out the “two different sets of rules” for elites and the rest of America. “If Hunter [Biden] were a Republican, he would have been in jail years ago,” DeSantis said to loud applause. (RELATED: Left-Wing Activist Groups Try To Bully Twitter Advertisers After DeSantis’ Presidential Announcement)
“If Hunter were a Republican, he would have been in jail years ago.” pic.twitter.com/ej0FvxVnW1
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 30, 2023
Afterwards, DeSantis turned his attention to the spike in violent crime facing American cities and the “new form of leftism” represented by “woke ideology” that runs counter to basic truths. He discussed the “medical authoritarianism” of COVID mandates and lockdowns that he fought in Florida.
DeSantis explained how elites use the federal government, corporate America and the education system to impose their will on the American people.
“But it does not have to be this way. American decline is not inevitable, it is a choice, and we must choose a new direction for our country, we must choose a path that will lead to a revival of American greatness,” DeSantis said.
Later in the speech, DeSantis covered similar themes when he spoke about his record as governor of Florida. “Leadership is not about entertainment, it’s not about building a brand, it’s not about virtue signaling, it’s about results,” DeSantis said, stressing the need to follow words with actions and stand firm against intense criticism.
He touted various pieces of legislation the state has passed from its heartbeat abortion ban, sales tax cuts, school choice, tough on crime bills, bonuses for law enforcement officers, immigration restrictions, constitutional carry, election integrity measures and banning COVID guidelines.
DeSantis briefly went behind the podium to let his wife Casey give a few words before he resumed his speech. He finished his speech by talking about his fight against Disney, the media’s narrative about “book bans” and other subjects.
Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds introduced DeSantis ahead of his speech and stressed the need for Republicans to win back the presidency.