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JOSE R. OLIVA: Hawaii Fires And Florida Hurricane Show Clear Contrast In Leadership


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Jose R. Oliva Contributor
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Americans have a clear choice in 2024 between our country’s continued decline or an American revival. The contrast between these two futures was on full display as we watched President Biden’s disastrous, self-absorbed response to the Maui wildfires and Ron DeSantis’ tireless work to effectively lead Florida through Hurricane Idalia.

When a deadly wildfire tore through Maui leaving shocking destruction behind, President Biden sat on a beach and couldn’t be bothered to even offer a comment. The sluggish, scattered response left residents frustrated, saying they weren’t being treated like U.S.citizens and that they didn’t get any help.

When Biden eventually visited Maui to observe the aftermath, he compared the historically catastrophic fire that leveled hundreds of homes to an embellished story about a kitchen fire in which he claimed he almost lost his Corvette. Like much of his career in public service, Biden’s response to the Maui wildfires was marked by self-interest and deceit.

What’s more, even though he’s had multiple vacations in the recent months, Biden still hasn’t visited East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment spilled toxic chemicals into the ecosystem. (RELATED: CHRISTIAN WHITON: Ron DeSantis Will Revive The Middle Class. Here’s How)

It doesn’t have to be this way. Ron DeSantis showed us how a strong leader should handle a natural disaster. 

DeSantis appropriately left the presidential campaign trail to prepare for Hurricane Idalia. DeSantis, state and local officials, first responders, and brave frontline workers made sure Floridians were well-informed about the dangers posed by the storm, took appropriate safety precautions, and understood what resources were available to them in impacted areas. Thanks to these exhaustive preparations, Floridians saw power restored in record time, roads cleared, bridges and airports quickly operational, cleanup resources deployed, and aid delivered to impacted communities.

DeSantis immediately hit the affected regions – holding public briefings, surveying damage, delivering meals, supporting residents, and thanking first responders. While leading the response, he shut down the media’s attempts to drag him into politics and focused solely on meeting the needs of Florida.

When President Biden visited Florida to see the damage, DeSantis didn’t get distracted with joining photo ops or diverting resources away from swift recovery efforts. President Biden, on the other hand, made a point of pushing climate alarmism. Some in the mainstream media even tried to blame Ron DeSantis for the hurricane.

As he has done so many times before, Ron DeSantis fired back at a dishonest, politically motived media narrative saying, “the notion that somehow if we just adopt very left-wing policies at the federal level, that somehow we will not have hurricanes is a lie.” He had no interest in letting President Biden take advantage of a storm to push his climate agenda.

DeSantis’ around-the-clock work eased the burden for those in the storm’s path and let families focus on getting back on their feet.

This isn’t anything new for Ron DeSantis. His leadership under fire made Florida a beacon of freedom and a refuge for sanity. (RELATED: DAN EBERHART: Don’t Write Off Ron DeSantis Just Yet)

Our country faces serious challenges: families reeling from inflation, rampant crime, and an invasion at our southern border. Only one proven, consistent leader exists to meet this moment and guide our country through the next crisis our nation may face.

As Hurricane Idalia approached the coast, Floridians had a lot of unknowns. But they knew they could count on Ron DeSantis. Come January 20, 2025, America can know what that sense of security feels like. When President DeSantis is in charge, Americans won’t have to worry about whatever crisis comes. A President DeSantis will put service before self and deliver for America like he did in Florida.

Jose R. Oliva is a senior adviser to the DeSantis campaign and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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