The Contradictions of Ron DeSantis: Can He Appeal to Mainstream Republicans?

Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida, is facing contradictions in his political career as he heads towards a potential presidential campaign. DeSantis began his political career in 2012 with a focus on fiscal restraint, immigration, and identifying the shortcomings of the modern Republican establishment. He quickly became a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus and was careful not to appear co-opted by the establishment.[0] However, DeSantis’ recent actions, such as his tough-on-crime talk and blue-state bashing, have led to questions about his political stance and whether he can appeal to mainstream Republicans.

DeSantis wrote a book in 2011 called “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers,” in which he lamented the decline in the country’s “limited government roots.”[1] In his campaign-biography book, “The Courage to Be Free,” DeSantis describes himself as being “geographically raised in Tampa Bay” but culturally raised in the working-class communities of western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio.[2] He claims this upbringing made him God-fearing, hard-working, and America-loving.

DeSantis’ recent claims about Florida’s population growth have been met with skepticism from national observers, who note that Florida’s population has been booming for around 50 years, even before DeSantis took office. Additionally, Florida’s homicide rate is worse than both New York’s and California’s, which has led to questions about DeSantis’ tough-on-crime stance.[3]

DeSantis’ contradictions have led to an increasingly small electoral island, where he cannot out-Trump Trump while also alienating mainstream Republicans when he tries.[3] DeSantis’ White House campaign, once envisioned as a coronation, is now struggling to find its balance.[3] With a book tour, looming presidential campaign, and near-daily media events, DeSantis is currently getting too much attention, causing some to wonder if he will be able to handle the pressure.[3]

0. “How Freedom-Loving Florida Fell for Ron DeSantis” The Atlantic, 27 Mar. 2023,

1. “With contempt for ‘corporatists,’ DeSantis pitches GOP voters on the power of the state” msnNOW, 27 Mar. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis Says He Was “Geographically Raised” in Tampa Bay as if That Means Anything” The Mary Sue, 22 Mar. 2023,

3. “Commentary: Can DeSantis go too far? Not for Florida. Maybe for America” Press Herald, 25 Mar. 2023,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top