DeSantis On GOP’s Lackluster Midterm Performance: Florida’s The ‘Blueprint’ For How To Dominate Politics

DeSantis On GOP’s Lackluster Midterm Performance: Florida’s The ‘Blueprint’ For How To Dominate Politics

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) said during a press conference Tuesday that the way Republicans have governed in the state of Florida is the blueprint for how Republicans can “fundamentally change the overall political terrain in a very strong pro-freedom direction.”

DeSantis made the remarks after responding to questions about former President Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on him.

“We focused on results and leadership. And, you know, at the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night,” DeSantis said. “The fact of the matter is, it was the greatest Republican victory in the history of the state of Florida. And it wasn’t just the best governor victory, of course it was that, but we swept in super majorities in the Florida Legislature.”

“We have 85 Republicans out of 120 in our state house, we’ve never had that many before,” he continued. “We have 28 senators out of 40 that are Republicans, never had that many. … We had 16 Republican members of the U.S. House from Florida, now we have 20 going up there. So that’s four, four seats right there. So at the end of the day, I think people respond to the leadership, they respond to the results.”

When talking about the GOP’s lackluster performance in the midterms, DeSantis said that it was just a reality that there were “a lot of disappointments” in the results for the party.

“It was a hugely underwhelming, disappointing performance, especially given that Biden’s policies are overwhelmingly unpopular, people think the country is going in the wrong direction,” DeSantis said. “The one place I think that people can look to as the blueprint is Florida. Because what have we done? I mean, you know, we came in, I had a very close election. In fact, before I became governor, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, all the major races, governor, presidential, were one point or less for that time. So in my race, was less than a point in 2018. And so we came in to a very, very large, diverse swing state. And we led, and we were on offense, and we didn’t, we didn’t shy away from big issues, we took on those issues. And we won victory after victory for the people of Florida.”

“We get people to vote for us who may not be in our party,” he later added. “And that’s really what you need to do. You don’t build, you don’t win by a million and a half votes if you only get your own party. And so what we were able to do, yes, obviously, we got a lot of Republicans turning out because they were supportive, and we appreciate that. But you know, we won Independents by between 15 and 20 points. We probably won 60% of Hispanics, statewide. That’s a record, no Republican has ever done that. I don’t think anyone’s ever done that. We won women, that hasn’t been done by a Republican governor for 20 years. So we did that. We won Miami Dade County, biggest, most urban county in Florida, 70% Latino, and not only did we win it for the first time in 20 years, we won it by 11%. It was a landslide down in Miami Dade. Not only that, we won Palm Beach County, which has not been won by a Republican for governor in almost 40 years. And we were able to win Palm Beach, which people didn’t think was necessarily possible.”

“You look at Osceola County, you know, we flipped that, I mean a huge swing in our direction. Again, that’s a predominantly Hispanic county. And so I think that what Florida showed is that the good policies, and the good leadership can reverberate just beyond your little silo of the people that agree with you on everything. You know, we had people coming out to vote for us who may not have voted for Republicans in the past. And I think that, ultimately, is the way forward.”

“And I think the other governors who were successful, had similar programs,” he concluded. “I think some of the others around the country, you had situations where these Independent voters aren’t voting for our candidates, even with Biden in the White House and the failures that we’re seeing, you know, that’s a problem. And so Florida, I think really shows the blueprint of what you can do to not only win, but really fundamentally change the overall political terrain in a very strong pro-freedom direction. And that’s what we’ve done here.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

RON DESANTIS, FLORIDA GOVERNOR (R): Well, you know, one of the things I’ve learned in this job is when you’re doing, when you’re leading, when you’re getting things done, you take incoming fire, that’s just the nature of it. I roll out of bed in the morning, I’ve got corporate media outlets that have a spasm, just the fact that I’m getting up in the morning, and it’s constantly attacking, and this is just what’s happened.

I don’t think any governor got attacked more particularly by corporate media than me over my four-year term. And yet, I think what you learn is all that’s just noise. And really what matters is: Are you leading? Are you getting in front of issues? Are you delivering results for people? And are you standing up for folks? And if you do that, then none of that stuff matters. And that’s what we’ve done.

We focused on results and leadership. And, you know, at the end of the day, I would just tell people to go check out the scoreboard from last Tuesday night. The fact of the matter is, it was the greatest Republican victory in the history of the state of Florida. And it wasn’t just the best governor victory, of course it was that, but we swept in super majorities in the Florida Legislature. We have 85 Republicans out of 120 in our state house, we’ve never had that many before. We have 28 senators out of 40 that are Republicans, never had that many. And honestly, they could have had 29, if they would have done the Osceola one, you know, we won Osceola County, at the top of the ticket. And I think we probably could have done that. So you see that, you see the school boards where we’re electing all these great people to school boards. We had 16 Republican members of the U.S. House from Florida, now we have 20 going up there. So that’s four, four seats right there. So at the end of the day, I think people respond to the leadership, they respond to the results. And so that’s why, even though I know anytime I do anything, you’re over the target, you know, you’re gonna face incoming, that’s just the nature of it. But that’s not ultimately what matters to people. What matters to people is: Are you standing up for them? Are you leading? And are you getting things done? And we are.

……

Well, look, I mean, I think some of this stuff gets a little bit overdone in some of the media, I mean, at the end of the day, you know, you had an election nationwide. There were some success stories across the country. I mean, I think Georgia governor, I think Ohio, I think Texas, but there were a lot, a lot of disappointments. I mean, that’s just the reality. It was a hugely underwhelming, disappointing performance, especially given that Biden’s policies are overwhelmingly unpopular, people think the country is going in the wrong direction. … Well, the one place I think, that people can look to as the blueprint is Florida. Because what have we done? I mean, you know, we came in, I had a very close election. In fact, before I became governor, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, all the major races, governor, presidential, were one point or less for that time. So in my race, was less than a point in 2018. And so we came in to a very, very large, diverse swing state. And we led, and we were on offense, and we didn’t, we didn’t shy away from big issues, we took on those issues. And we won victory after victory for the people of Florida.

Of course, when you had COVID come, you know, I had to stand on the wall and say, ‘You know what, we’re not going to let this state descend into a Faucian dystopia. We’re going to stand up for people, we’re going to keep things going and so we did that, and people appreciate that. But we were bold throughout this whole four years. I didn’t have my finger in the wind. I wasn’t trying to contort myself into being something that I’m not, everyone knew where I stood, everyone knew what we were doing. And we did it. But I think what it shows is that, you know, if people see that you’re leading and they see that you mean what you say and say what you mean, and that you’re willing to and you’re able to deliver results.

We get people to vote for us who may not be in our party. And that’s really what you need to do. You don’t build, you don’t win by a million and a half votes if you only get your own party. And so what we were able to do, yes, obviously, we got a lot of Republicans turning out because they were supportive, and we appreciate that. But you know, we won Independents by between 15 and 20 points. We probably won 60% of Hispanics, statewide. That’s a record, no Republican has ever done that. I don’t think anyone’s ever done that. We won women, that hasn’t been done by a Republican governor for 20 years. So we did that. We won Miami Dade County, biggest, most urban county in Florida, 70% Latino, and not only did we win it for the first time in 20 years, we won it by 11%. It was a landslide down in Miami Dade. Not only that, we won Palm Beach County, which has not been won by a Republican for governor in almost 40 years. And we were able to win Palm Beach, which people didn’t think was necessarily possible.

You look at Osceola County, you know, we flipped that, I mean a huge swing in our direction. Again, that’s a predominantly Hispanic county. And so I think that what what Florida showed is that the good policies, and the good leadership can reverberate just beyond your little silo of the people that agree with you on everything. You know, we had people coming out to vote for us who may not have voted for Republicans in the past. And I think that, ultimately, is the way forward. And I think the other governors who were successful, had similar programs. I think some of the others around the country, you had situations where these Independent voters aren’t voting for our candidates, even with Biden in the White House and the failures that we’re seeing, you know, that’s a problem. And so Florida, I think, really shows the blueprint of what you can do to not only win, but really fundamentally change the overall political terrain in a very strong pro-freedom direction. And that’s what we’ve done here.

Related: DeSantis Responds To Repeated Attacks From Trump

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