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Ron DeSantis At CPAC Highlights Future Of Republican Party Moving Forward: ‘Don’t Ever Back Down’

   DailyWire.com
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists and world leaders to discuss issues important to them.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted the future of the Republican Party during a speech at CPAC on Friday, saying that conservatives needed to have more backbone and not back down to the political left.

DeSantis contrasted the way that his state managed the COVID-19 pandemic to the way that pro-“lockdown” governors managed their states and noted that Florida has performed better than the national average in several key metrics. DeSantis also highlighted the action that his administration has taken to secure elections in the state and to combat big tech.

“When COVID hit, I rejected pressure to make hasty and ill conceived changes to our election administration like mass mailing of unsolicited ballots,” DeSantis said. “And the result on election night by midnight, the state of Florida had counted, tabulated, and put out 11 million votes.”

“But we’re not resting on our laurels, this year Florida’s leading on banning all forms of ballot harvesting and banning third party political groups, like those funded by billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, from interfering in the administration of our elections,” he continued. “Bottom line is this, in Florida, your vote counts and we will continue to have a process that is transparent and that inspires confidence.”

“Florida’s also leading in protecting our people from political censorship and in holding big tech accountable,” he added. “When our legislature convenes next month, it will pass and I will sign the most ambitious reforms yet proposed for combating political censorship and deep platforming, for preventing big tech from interfering in our elections, and for safeguarding the privacy of your personal data.”

DeSantis said that his administration has prioritized taking action on “leading on the issues that matter to conservatives” and not just spewing meaningless political rhetoric.

“We don’t spout hollow rhetoric, we take decisive action,” DeSantis said. “And what’s true in Florida is true for conservatives across the nation, we cannot, we will not go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear.”

“We reject open borders and instead support American sovereignty and the American worker,” DeSantis continued. “Building a movement on the foundation of amnesty and cheap foreign labor is like building a house on a field of quicksand. We reject weakness in the face of the threat posed by China, including their actions in international trade. We reject military adventurism, instead support a strong defense solely for the purpose of protecting our nation and its people. Now, the battles ahead will be made more difficult, without the voice of one of our greatest field generals, my friend, Rush Limbaugh.”

DeSantis warned conservatives that if they stand for the right things that they will “be attacked,” “smeared,” and “even canceled by the major organs of the political left.”

“Now anyone can spout conservative rhetoric, we can sit around and have academic debates about conservative policy, but I’m not saying you don’t do any of that, but the question is, when the Klieg lights get hot, when the left comes after you, will you stay strong or will you fold?” DeSantis concluded. “When you do and you engage in the battles ahead, hold the line. Stand your ground, and don’t ever, ever back down.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

RON DESANTIS, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: For those of you who aren’t from Florida, welcome to our oasis of freedom. We are an oasis of freedom in a nation that’s suffering in many parts of the country under the yoke of oppressive lockdowns. We look around in other parts of our country. And in far too many places, we see schools closed, businesses shuttered, and lives destroyed. And while so many governors over the last year, had kept locking people down, Florida lifted people up. Florida is leading in protecting our vulnerable residents, saving the economy, and safeguarding the freedom of our people. In Florida, schools are open.

Every Floridian has a right to earn a living and all businesses have a right to operate. Now, we are stronger as a state and much happier as a people because of this leadership. Florida has lower per capita COVID mortality than the national average and lower than 27 other states. Our unemployment rate is lower than the national average, even though tourism isn’t fully back. And our budget is in great shape. We have not touched one red cent from our rainy day fund throughout this whole time. Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong.

Florida has also led and continues to lead on ensuring the integrity of our elections. Now 20 years ago, if you had uttered the word ‘Florida’ and the word ‘elections’ in the same sentence, you would have been met with snickers. Well, when I came into office, I didn’t wait for a crisis. I took early action to make sure we have a smooth election. One of the first things I did when I took office in 2019 was accept the resignation of Brenda Snipes as a supervisor of election in Broward County and remove the supervisor of election in Palm Beach County. We got those going in a good direction and then when COVID hit, I rejected pressure to make hasty and ill conceived changes to our election administration like mass mailing of unsolicited ballots. And the result on election night by midnight, the state of Florida had counted, tabulated, and put out 11 million votes.

But we’re not resting on our laurels, this year Florida’s leading on banning all forms of ballot harvesting and banning third party political groups like those funded by billionaire Mark Zuckerberg from interfering in the administration of our elections. Bottom line is this, in Florida, your vote counts and we will continue to have a process that is transparent and that inspires confidence. Florida’s also leading in protecting our people from political censorship and in holding big tech accountable. When our legislature convenes next month, it will pass and I will sign the most ambitious reforms yet proposed for combating political censorship and deep platforming, for preventing big tech from interfering in our elections, and for safeguarding the privacy of your personal data.

In Florida, we are not going to let the terms of the debate in our country be set by oligarchs in Silicon Valley.

Now … Florida’s leading on the issues that matter to conservatives. We don’t spout hollow rhetoric, we take decisive action. And what’s true in Florida is true for conservatives across the nation, we cannot, we will not go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear.

We reject open borders and instead support American sovereignty and the American worker. Building a movement on the foundation of amnesty and cheap foreign labor is like building a house on a field of quicksand. We reject weakness in the face of the threat posed by China, including their actions in international trade. We reject military adventurism, instead support a strong defense solely for the purpose of protecting our nation and its people. Now, the battles ahead will be made more difficult, without the voice of one of our greatest field generals, my friend, Rush Limbaugh.

On Wednesday, the state of Florida had the flags flown at half staff and honor of Rush in honor of his legacy. Rush displayed the courage of his convictions, time and time again. Rush was one of the first to fight and win against cancel culture. Rush showed that fighting the left requires strength and that conservatism, devoid of backbone is doomed to fail.

So, at this moment in our history, and I think Rush showed us this, but particularly now, standing for the right things comes at a cost, you will be attacked, you will be smeared, and you may even be canceled by the major organs of the political left. Now anyone can spout conservative rhetoric, we can sit around and have academic debates about conservative policy, but I’m not saying you don’t do any of that, but the question is, when the Klieg lights get hot, when the left comes after you, will you stay strong or will you fold?

So, enjoy CPAC and Florida as you leave to go back home, although if you’re not from here, I don’t know why you’d want to leave here, but when you do and you engage in the battles ahead, hold the line. Stand your ground, and don’t ever, ever back down. Thank you. God bless you.

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