Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Vows to “Destroy Leftism” If Elected President, Drawing Controversy for Climate Change Denial and Anti-Clean Energy Policies

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recently made a bold promise that has both alarmed commentators and drawn the support of some Republican supporters.[0] In a recent appearance on “Fox and Friends,” DeSantis stated that if elected president next year, he would “destroy leftism in this country and leave woke ideology on the dustbin of history.” While he did not clarify what this goal would mean if he were elected, or what measures he may put in place to accomplish it, DeSantis did reference his gains in Florida’s voter base from the 2018 gubernatorial election to 2022.[1] He claimed that he has shown an ability to win huge swaths of voters that Republicans typically can’t win while also delivering the boldest agenda anywhere in the country.[2]

DeSantis’ statement has sparked controversy, particularly given his history of climate change denial. When asked by former congressman Trey Gowdy on Fox News whether he thought climate change was implicated in Florida’s hurricanes, DeSantis said: “I’ve always rejected the politicization of the weather.” He said that hurricanes are a fact of life in Florida and have not become more frequent.[3] However, climate scientists have shown that climate change makes extreme weather events more likely or worse, as the website FactCheck.org explains.[4]

During his time in office in Florida, DeSantis has adopted bills banning Florida’s cities from adopting 100% clean energy goals and barred the state’s pension fund from making investment decisions that consider the climate crisis due to what he called a corporate attempt to “impose an ideological agenda on the American people”.[4] Additionally, he has criticized the US military for being “woke” and cautioning about the potential national security dangers brought on by climate change.[5]

Despite the controversy, DeSantis remains a strong contender for the Republican nomination for president. “I think there’s a reason why the legacy media is attacking me more than they’re attacking anybody else, because I think they realise that if I’m successful in winning the Republican nomination, we’re going to bring it home in the general election. “There’s a reason why the legacy media is attacking me more than they’re attacking anybody else—because I think they realize that if I’m successful in winning the Republican nomination, we’re going to bring it home and the general election.”

DeSantis’ campaign for president has also gained momentum with his recent tour through key early nominating states. Speaking at an evangelical church just outside Des Moines, he emphasised the common themes shared by Florida and Iowa in terms of conservative values. While DeSantis’ campaign has been controversial, it remains to be seen whether he will be successful in his bid for the Republican nomination for president.

0. “DeSantis Vows to ‘Destroy Leftism in America’ if Elected President” WNDB – News Daytona Beach, 30 May. 2023, https://www.newsdaytonabeach.com/stories/desantis-vows-to-destroy-leftism-in-america-if-elected-president,43642

1. “DeSantis Tells ‘Fox and Friends’ He ‘Will Destroy Leftism in America,’ ‘Leave Woke Ideology’ in the ‘Dustbin of History’ (Video)” Yahoo Life, 29 May. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/desantis-tells-fox-friends-destroy-222429178.html

2. “Ron DeSantis Declares He’s Running For President to ‘Destroy Leftism’” Mediaite, 29 May. 2023, https://www.mediaite.com/politics/ron-desantis-declares-hes-running-for-president-to-destroy-leftism/

3. “”Politicizing the Weather:” Florida’s DeSantis doesn’t Understand that Carbon Emissions make Hurricanes more …” Informed Comment, 26 May. 2023, https://www.juancole.com/2023/05/politicizing-understand-hurricanes.html

4. “DeSantis’ climate program is an anti-science disaster” ZME Science, 30 May. 2023, https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/desantis-climate-program-is-an-anti-science-disaster

5. “DeSantis accused of ‘catastrophic’ climate approach after campaign launch” The Guardian US, 28 May. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/may/28/ron-desantis-climate-crisis-campaign

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