AMAC Magazine - Volume 17 / Issue 6 - NOV/DEC 2023

No doubt, the governor’s record in Florida is impressive. The Sunshine State has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. From COVID to major hurricanes, DeSantis has handled disasters with competence and decisiveness. He has signed into law historic legislation to expand school choice to every student in the state  and has also protected parents’ rights and safeguarded chil- dren from radical gender ideology. He signed legislation to end the harmful practice of abortion after six weeks. In 2022, DeSantis was one of the few Republicans who won his race by a wide margin  the largest in 40 years. These, and other important wins, explain why DeSantis often touts a “Make America Florida” message. But just because he’s done an outstanding job in Florida doesn’t mean that voters believe he’s ready to govern all 50 states. In fact, while donors had high hopes that DeSantis would sail to victory in the Republican primary, he has trailed expectations. From his bungled campaign announcement on Twitter, which was riddled with tech snafus, to overly rehearsed answers on the debate stage, some have ques- tioned whether DeSantis has the charisma and authen- ticity to win a presidential race. This may explain why he has fallen behind Nikki Haley in New Hampshire and South Carolina. With degrees from Yale and Harvard, and time spent serving as a Navy JAG officer, DeSantis has the pedigree for politics. But in recent years, voters have been skep- tical of such a resume. Only time will tell whether the Florida governor can inspire and coalesce voters on a national scale.

H e bucked the medical experts during the COVID pandemic, banned Critical Race Theory in public schools, and took over Disney’s special tax district. Governor Ron DeSantis’s unapologetic leadership has skyrocketed him to fame among conservatives. Often called “Trump without the baggage,” DeSantis initially seemed to embrace the comparison. His speeches even mimicked Trump’s speaking patterns, hand gestures, and rhetoric. However, in recent months, as DeSantis has lagged in the polls, the Florida governor has resorted to attacking the former president. Speaking to a few hundred people at a coffee shop near Des Moines, Iowa, this fall, DeSantis said, “So I can tell you: Not only will I keep my promises as president, I’ll keep Donald Trump’s promises as president,” referencing his own plan to get Mexico to pay for the wall. Governor ron desantis

Did you know? DeSantis recently signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida. See our comparison chart on page 42 for more!

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