Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed a bill introduced by a fellow Republican that would require bloggers who write about politics to register with the state.
Critics of the governor have sought to tie the legislation to him, but DeSantis told reporters Tuesday that he had nothing to do with the bill filed by state Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Sanford). DeSantis, who, along with his staff, has often sparred with the press, said he doesn’t support the bill, either.
“Every person in the legislature can file bills,” DeSantis said. “I see these people filing bills and there are these articles with my face on the article saying that bloggers are going to have to register with the state and they’re attributing it to me.”
“That’s not anything I’ve ever supported, I don’t support,” he continued. “I’ve been very clear about what we are doing. … I don’t control every single bill that has been filed.”
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“120 of them, and however many in the Senate, they have independent agency to be able to do things. Like, I don’t control every single bill.” pic.twitter.com/90wB5bk2dO
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) March 7, 2023
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed Brodeur over the proposal and urged him to withdraw it immediately.
“The idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane,” Gingrich wrote. “It is an embarrassment that it is a Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill to that effect. He should withdraw it immediately.”
The idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane. it is an embarrassment that it is a Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill to that effect. He should withdraw it immediately.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) March 5, 2023
DeSantis’ remarks came after he delivered his annual State of the State address to the Florida legislature and residents of the state.
In his address, DeSantis highlighted Florida’s success as the fastest-growing state in the country and ranking number one in the U.S. in numerous categories, including new business formations, economic growth among large states, tourism, law enforcement recruitment, education freedom, parental involvement in education, public higher education system, and space-related development, manufacturing, and flight.
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“But now’s not the time to rest on our laurels,” he said. “We have the opportunity and indeed the responsibility to swing for the fences so that we can ensure Florida remains number one.”
“Don’t worry about the chattering class,” DeSantis said in an apparent reference to those speculating that he may run for president in 2024. “Ignore all the background noise. Keep the compass set to true north. We will stand strong. We will hold the line. We won’t back down. And I can promise you this, you ain’t seen nothing yet.”