A new ad for Ron DeSantis that features ordinary folks praising the Florida governor for his leadership on a host of business, education, and cultural issues during the COVID pandemic is drawing praise from across the political spectrum.
The 60-second ad, released by the Sunshine State GOP, has blue-collar Floridans, school-age teens, and senior citizens all thanking DeSantis for keeping the state open for business while other governors closed businesses and schools. DeSantis is up for re-election in November and polls show him with a widening lead over Democrat challenger Charlie Crist.
“He saved our jobs,” says a waitress.
“And kept us going,” ads a cook.
A car mechanic addresses DeSantis directly, saying, “They tried to shut us down and you saved our business.”
DeSantis famously refused to shut down Florida or impose the mask and vaccine mandates seen in other states in 2020.
“We will never do any of these lockdowns again, and I hear people say they’ll shut down the country, and honestly, I cringe,” he said in August, 2020. “And at best, what the lockdown will do is delay. It does not reduce the ultimate mortality… it creates a lot of other problems with mortality that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on.”
By June of last year, Florida’s economy had rebounded to pre-pandemic strength. New residents poured in from blue states, creating a housing boom that outpaced the nation’s. DeSantis took heat from Democrats and much of the media, who claimed his policies were reckless and put health and lives at risk. But economic data and health statistics show Florida fared no worse than most blue states, and better than many.
“You led by facts, not fear,” a nurse says in the ad.
“And you let us decide,” adds a firefighter, seemingly in reference to DeSantis’ refusal to impose a vaccine mandate.
DeSantis also bucked the blue-state trend by allowing school children to return to in-person learning far earlier than most other states, starting in August 2020.
“You let me go to school,” says a child featured in the ad.
“You let us learn,” adds an older student.
A female swimmer notes DeSantis “let us compete,” in a reference to legislation he signed into law in June, 2021 barring biological males athletes from playing girls and women’s sports.
“All of us,” adds a disabled golfer.
The ad also recalls DeSantis’ strong stance against the closing of houses of worship, another position that earned contempt from the Left. In April 2020, in the face of national media pressure to close down houses of worship, DeSantis designated churches, synagogues, and mosques as “essential,” and thus an exception to his stay-at-home order.
“By allowing religious services to continue, DeSantis is seemingly siding with religious leaders who’ve stood against the federally mandated guidelines,” The Daily Beast complained at the time.
The ad also features a teacher thanking DeSantis for raising the salaries of public school educators, a fisherman praising him for new environmental protections, a police officer offering appreciation for a tough new law protecting cops, and an elderly veteran grateful for a series of bills DeSantis signed in June expanding educational opportunities for disabled veterans with tuition assistance and a bill to help give education opportunities to children of servicemembers.
— Louder with Crowder Dot Com (@LWCnewswire) September 6, 2022
This is my favorite type of political ad. Especially someone with the resume of DeSantis. All he has to do is talk about how much he’s done for people. No need to run attack ads on the irrelevant. The other contenders can’t compete. pic.twitter.com/UsoKtXmOl7
— T.J. Moe (@TJMoe28) September 6, 2022
I love this ad. pic.twitter.com/EsmTW9eUGl
— Allie Beth Stuckey (@conservmillen) September 6, 2022
Single best ad of the political cycle thus far. pic.twitter.com/ueycyDclOc
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) September 6, 2022
Yes it is. Brought tears to me eyes. https://t.co/Mf61n89Q4x
— Roger Kimball (@rogerkimball) September 6, 2022
EVEN HIS AD IS A STUDpic.twitter.com/uyrjc7b3Sh
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) September 6, 2022
Ron DeSantis just dropped the best ad of 2022. This is pure 🔥
Watch and you will get chills… pic.twitter.com/0zU5Kpr5zU
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 6, 2022
There was even some praise from fair-minded people on the other side of the political aisle:
Another very strong ad from DeSantis re-election campaign: https://t.co/stfKLrjWt4
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) September 6, 2022