Ron DeSantis slams Joe Biden, election integrity, rebel school boards at ‘Statesman of the Year’ dinner
Ron DeSantis accepts the Statesman of the Year award. Image via Jacob Ogles.

DeSantis statesman
"That had a huge impact on this election. And it was dirty."

Before a packed room of Republican donors and supporters in Sarasota, Gov. Ron DeSantis lambasted teachers unions, slammed godless liberals and boasted Florida was the freest state in the nation.

He also talked a lot about President Joe Biden.

“He loves to criticize Florida. He loves to criticize me,” DeSantis said of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. “We are going to fight Biden on every single thing he’s doing that’s violating the Constitution, we’re not going to lay down and take it.”

After a series of official announcements in Southwest Florida, the Governor ended Friday at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, where he picked up the Statesman of the Year award from the Sarasota GOP.

DeSantis pilloried Biden throughout the evening, first over the troops lost in Kabul during a highly criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan. But he also attacked vaccine mandates, inflation rates, and the integrity of the election that put Biden in the White House.

“Let me tell you this. If he spent less time attacking Florida and more time doing his job, you’d probably have 13 servicemembers that would still be alive today,” DeSantis continued.

Supporters, including members of the Florida Cabinet, praised DeSantis’ leadership through the pandemic.

“They say politicians are always looking to their next election,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “Statesmen are always looking to protect the next generation.”

DeSantis had thoughts on the next election as well, and perhaps the one after that.

He lamented the struggle with school boards across the state. Sarasota is one of several Republican-leaning counties with a Democratic majority on the nonpartisan school board, and it has been one of the boards at odds with DeSantis over mask requirements in schools.

DeSantis praised one of those school board members fighting mandates, giving Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler a shout out from the podium. But he also pivoted his criticism of other members to an attack on the Biden administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“Most of these are union-controlled school board members that are doing a lot of these dumb things,” DeSantis said. “And so Merrick Garland knows that, so what they’re doing, they’re threatening with the FBI to intimidate you. They don’t want you speaking out. They want to squelch dissent.”

On the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps one of the Governor’s biggest challenges in his political career so far, DeSantis focused his address on the state’s monoclonal antibody treatment sites.

“We saw people with delta going to hospital, no one was getting treatment,” DeSantis said. “It should not have required us to do anything as Governor, it should’ve been what the medical system was doing, but we saw a deficiency, we mobilized 25 sites and since we did that in mid-August our hospital admissions are down 85%.”

DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic was met with criticism after Florida reported a record numbers of hospitalizations and health care systems were strained across the state. Florida has so far recorded 56,667 COVID-19 deaths, with more than 18,000 of those deaths occurring in the last three months alone.

During the most recent surge, Democratic critics slammed the Governor for his strident push against COVID-19 public health mandates, which earned him credit among Republican supporters.

DeSantis also went after Democratic efforts to standardize federal election laws, and defended Florida’s own ramping up of restrictions. He called into question the steps other states took in the election in 2020, while not this state went to Donald Trump.

“When I became Governor, nobody was even talking about election integrity. Very few people,” he said. “And what did I have in my first month, I have one of the first things I did as Governor, I accepted the resignation of Brenda Snipes. I suspended a supervisor in Palm Beach County. And I said one generation of bad elections is enough.”

Snipes, an embattled Broward County Supervisor of Elections, resigned after a legal fight with former Gov. Rick Scott and a recount for both DeSantis’ election in 2018 and Scott’s election as U.S. Senator. DeSantis suspended Palm Beach County Supervisor Susan Bucher amid criticism over the same election.

But most of DeSantis’ remarks turned to 2020 when many states expanded drop box and mail-in voting options. He took particularly issue with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan contributing millions, including in Florida, to help elections officials run a successful election amid the pandemic.

“Zuckerberg from Facebook spent $420 million in quote nonprofits. And what they would do, they would go into these key areas, places like Wisconsin and Atlanta and all these places. And they would give huge amounts of money to these local election offices,” DeSantis said. “But what they would do is basically commandeer the office, they bring in a bunch of partisan operatives, and then they would administer it in a partisan way to try to help defeat Trump. And so that had a huge impact on this election. And it was dirty. It was underhanded and in the state of Florida it is now illegal.”

He pivoted back to criticizing Biden, saying his worst failures were at the border.

“The reason why I would say that’s the most egregious is because he inherited a border that was working,” he said. “You had to remain in Mexico policy, illegal migration was very, very minor when Donald Trump left office and what did Joe Biden do? Stop construction of the wall, repealed the remain in Mexico policy, and basically sent a signal anywhere in the world ‘Just come across that border, and you are home free.’”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Pat

    October 16, 2021 at 8:37 am

    “He inherited a border that was working”.
    DeSantis blatantly lies.

    • Tom

      October 17, 2021 at 6:23 am

      Are you an idiot?
      Typical cocoon liberal fool.
      Estimated 2 million illegals will entered through the southern border.

      Your Alzheimer’s POTUS, and giggles VP have adopted an illegal open border.

      Abandoned southern border and abandoned Americans in Afghanistan.

      My gosh you cocoon liberal.
      Get real.

    • CLopez

      October 17, 2021 at 2:15 pm

      of course he does. He is pandering to Trumps base. His ambition for the prize- the Presidency is transparent. Keeping the state opened did one thing – caused more Floridian deaths from Covid. He hired a quack as Surgeon General, a RNC PAC recommended he hire one of the “Frontline Doctors”. Quacks who follow Dr (?) Immanuel who spouts ;Demon sperm” causes disease.. guess trumps “drink bleach” didn’t work out to well

      • Tom

        October 17, 2021 at 2:44 pm

        U sick Fng liberal, demented.
        No one knows what your scribbles, mean.

        Your full of it.
        America’s Gov the best.
        You got nothing, know nothing, do nothing.

        Defend your incompetent alzie Joe.
        Giggles Harris. Clown show

        Florida, freedom, free, economy the best, schools open, education, jobs, growth. Unlike blue state tyrants.

        Everyone is abandoning Biden , you will.

        Typical liberal fool.
        DeSantis the best!

  • Frankie M.

    October 16, 2021 at 9:13 am

    They say you’re not happy unless you’re complaining. If that’s the case Ronnie is one ecstatic dude. Maybe sleepy Joe should’ve stayed in Afghanistan like Trump wanted? Oh wait. Last time I checked free speech does not protect threats of bodily harm. Ronnie might wanna go back and finish up law school. He could use a 4th year.

  • JmjUSA

    October 16, 2021 at 9:34 am

    This anti DeSantis “commercial” was brought to you by the dementia ridden BideT-Camelface dnc demon rats…

    One noted correction: “Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan contributing millions, including in Florida, to help elections officials TO TRY TO STEAL a successful election amid the pandemic.”
    Interesting: if it’s demon-rat $ influencing elections: good. If it’s a conservative: it’s ogle-ING crying about outside interference…
    Wait til the come for you,” typists”

  • #FJB

    October 16, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Fuck Joe Biden

  • Glenn Reihing

    October 17, 2021 at 9:08 am

    “Stateman of the Year” award…..

    From the Sarasota GOP…

    It’s like Hannibal Lecter getting a “Cannibal of the Year” award from Jeffery Dahmer…

    Just sayin’..

    • Tom

      October 17, 2021 at 9:18 am

      Yeah right.

      Only saved Floridians jobs, schools and seniors. Of course he’s a great Statesmen.

      America’s Governor.

      • Evan Miller

        October 17, 2021 at 9:38 am

        I agree 👍🏿.

  • Harold Finch

    October 17, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Very sad, DeSantis com[plains and demonizes Biden for doing the same thing he does to local school boards and county commissions. What a two-face POS!!
    I am am a true Republican, and convince the Trump Minime DeSantis and his pal are going to be the downfall or splitting of the Party.!

    • Tom

      October 17, 2021 at 1:56 pm

      You the Finch that stole Christmas and the towel boy, predator org advocate, peter h. are just plain haters. Your venom of hate is mentally ill.

      Good riddance to you, peter h, and rinos. Repub party is more blue collar,
      more working class, middle class, friend of the working men/women, married moms, and Hispanic friendly.

      DeSantis is America’s Governor! Second to none. He saved Florida from economic, social and tyrannical rule like your blue state Govs.

      You and the rest of your Manchurians can’t defend the incompetence of Alzie Joe and giggles Harris. Quinnipiac says 55% incompetent. LMAO.

      25% and 29% approval on border and Afghanistan per Quinnipiac with 2 million illegals entering.

      Only 38% approve on economy.
      His numbers are atrocious, not recoverable.

      These incompetent fools make Trump look good. Can you say Jen Psaki, Jen Psaki. Jen Psaki.

      They made DeSantis, America’s Gov.
      thank you!

  • E Hamel

    October 17, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Duh Santis dubbed Trumps apprentice. One incompetent fascist. How many lawsuits filed against your illegal rules.
    Keep it up MoRon so you can join your mentor, Trump as another loser.

    • Tom

      October 17, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      You are the sucker loser
      Go scratch.

  • Sandy

    October 17, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    Needs to go back under the rock he came from

    • Tom

      October 17, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      Not happening you liberal Dummycrat!
      Go move to NY state.

      DeSantis America’s Gov.
      How’s incompetent Alzie Joe doing.

      You got nothing, nobody to defeat Ron with.

      America’s Gov!

Comments are closed.


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