OREM, Utah (ABC4) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) spoke as a keynote speaker at the GOP 2023 Organizing Convention at Utah Valley University earlier today, Apr. 22.
The convention held leadership elections, conducted party business, and listened to DeSantis’ speech, the governor of the state Gov. Cox called the “Utah of the Southeast.”
DeSantis has made headlines in recent months. DeSantis is rumored to be seeking the Republican presidential nomination in the 2024 election against President Joe Biden. The Florida governor has also been the target of former President Donald Trump, who has already announced his bid for the 2024 nomination.
At the convention, DeSantis spoke about his perspective on leadership and freedom. He said he governs on the base of “conviction, not putting [a] finger in the wind and trying to get ahead of wherever public opinion may [be] blowing.” He said he has never conducted a poll on a particular issue to tell him what to do as governor, instead, he said a leader “executes a vision and delivers results.”
He called Republicans who get into office and choose not to make decisions to avoid criticism “potted plants” and said he took a different approach by going “on the offense” and “leaning into issues.”
DeSantis spoke of his experience as governor during the COVID-19 pandemic and his recent reelection as governor. He then spoke of the efforts Florida has undertaken since November 2022.
Since November, the governor said Florida has enacted the largest toll redaction in Florida, enacted a pro-life “heartbeat bill,” fortified office of election crime and election fraud, and “stripped Disney of its self-governing status.”
DeSantis then listed what they will be passing following the 2023 Legislative Session in Florida including eliminating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at universities, prohibiting land purchases related to the China Communist Party, removing the sales tax on baby items as part of a large tax relief effort, and prohibiting gender reassignment surgeries and hormonal therapies for minors.
“Politics is not entertainment, it’s not about building a brand, it’s not about virtue signaling on social media, it is about delivering results, and our record in Florida has been second to none,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis finished his speech by talking about the founding fathers, the Constitution, and freedom, saying it is something “worth fighting for.”
DeSantis was elected as the 46th Governor of Florida, assuming office in 2019 to replace Rick Scott who was moving into a new position as a U.S. Senator.