Ron DeSantis leaves room for heavily political speeches during his state-paid trips

Ron DeSantis screenshot Facebook
'We want education not indoctrination in the state of Florida.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to the Florida Panhandle on Friday to dispense $23 million in infrastructure grants but spent the bulk of his time complaining about the Joe Biden administration and culture war sore spots.

During his 35-minute event in Port St. Joe, for example, the Governor spent about seven minutes discussing the grants and handing out checks; the rest was national politics.

Later, in Apalachicola, he spent about the same amount of time in total but just four minutes dispensing grants.

The grants include $700,000 for downtown restoration including a new water line in Port St. Joe; $652,000 for improvements to prevent sewage overflows in Apalachicola; $1 million to improve two fire stations and wastewater drainage in Panama City; and $1.1 million to improve a senior center and a drainage project in Holmes County.

More details here.

“There’s never been a Governor that’s been in the Panhandle communities more than me and we’re proud about that,” DeSantis claimed.

The rest was the standard stump speech DeSantis has devised since announcing for re-election in October: President Biden’s energy policy; inflation; the “defund the police” movement; and immigration policy included.

DeSantis is up for reelection in November; his potential Democratic challengers include U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former Republican Governor now a Democrat; Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried; and state Sen. Annette Taddeo of Miami-Dade.

Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Marcus Dixon commented on the appearances in an email to the Phoenix.

“If Ron DeSantis spent even an ounce of his time addressing real issues instead of playing politics and chasing his national ambitions Floridians wouldn’t be suffering from some of the highest housing and health care costs in the entire country,” Dixon said. “DeSantis would be better served thanking President Biden and Democrats for creating eight million new jobs.”

Friday’s discourse reflected a new development: the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42, a public-health policy enacted by the Trump administration which allowed the exclusion of asylum-seekers to limit transmission of COVID-19.

“That is a dereliction of duty. That is wrong to not defend our own country’s borders,” DeSantis said.

‘Core things’

He defended the “Don’t Say Gay” law he recently signed to sharply limit instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in public classrooms. Critics complain the law will marginalize disfavored minorities.

“We want to make sure our young kids are focused on the core things — learning to read, learning to write, math, science, all these different things that are so important,” he said.

“We want education, not indoctrination, in the state of Florida,” he said.

“And I don’t really care what the media says about that. I don’t care what very left-wing activists say about that. I do not care what big companies say about that. We are standing strong, and we will not back down from that.

State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who hails from the Panhandle, and Department of Economic Opportunity chief Dane Eagle were on hand and praised the governor, too.

In Port St. Joe, DeSantis commented on politics north of the state line, in Georgia, apparently because visitors from that state were among the crowd.

“If Stacey Abrams is elected Governor of Georgia, I just want to be honest, that will be a cold war between Florida and Georgia at that point,” he said. “I mean, I can’t have Castro to my South and Abrams to my north. That’d be a disaster.”


Michael Moline reporting via Florida Phoenix.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected] Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Phoenix

Florida Phoenix is a news and opinion outlet focused on government and political news coverage within the state of Florida.


  • Mike Frank

    April 11, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Ron DeathSanta loves spending other people’s money to prove to everyone that he’s a moron.

    • Impeach Biden

      April 11, 2022 at 11:11 am

      You probably think Cuomo, and Newsom are smart. LMFAO. Move to one of those states if you don’t like him.

      • TJC

        April 11, 2022 at 11:41 am

        Highest death rate from Covid belongs to Florida. New York and California have a lower rate per one hundred thousand residents. So, yeah, when it comes to protecting the people of their states, Newsom and Cuomo did a smarter job.
        And if you don’t like facts, don’t move, you’re in the right state.

        • Impeach Biden

          April 11, 2022 at 11:53 am

          In terms of raw numbers both New York and California have more deaths from Covid because they have more people. FACT!!

          • Impeach Biden

            April 11, 2022 at 12:26 pm

            I misspoke. It’s Texas and California with more deaths from Covid than Florida. Now of course you will tell me it’s per capita that counts. You can spin it anyway you want. Kind of like that bogus survey on high fuel prices that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz sent me.

          • Speaking

            April 11, 2022 at 9:15 pm

            “I misspoke”

            COVID: oh it’s ok. By the time I’m done that won’t be a problem either.

          • tom palmer

            April 11, 2022 at 10:18 pm

            do the math. Is this numbers or percentages?

          • tjb

            April 12, 2022 at 2:07 pm

            Florida has 6.5 % of the USA population and 9.2 % of the Covid deaths. Got to love DeSantis, he has given us the freedom to die maskless and unvaccinated

        • Itold Usoh

          April 13, 2022 at 12:12 pm

          You have to age adjust. Florida is #31 on an age adjusted basis.

          • No problem

            April 13, 2022 at 3:32 pm

            “You have to age adjust”

            COVID: i do that just fine lol

      • Easy enough

        April 11, 2022 at 2:25 pm

        Or just wait until covid gets rid of enough republicans since it’s doing it at a steady rate lol

        • Impeach Biden

          April 11, 2022 at 4:12 pm

          Interesting you say that. Looks like a couple of Democrat sweethearts have caught Covid recently, Wasserman-Schultz and Pelosi. I wish no ill will on them but certainly would lose no sleep if they took a turn for the worse. Maybe it’s Covid thinning out the Democrat heard. I guess that’s why your party is allowing the illegals to stampede into the US.

          • Walpurgis

            April 11, 2022 at 4:58 pm

            As a Republican, you must ask yourself, “Have I taken a knee to a liar today?”.

          • Impeach Biden

            April 11, 2022 at 5:15 pm

            I would never kneel to “senile” Biden or “incompetent” Harris. You kneeled to those two morons when you voted for them. Look where we are now as a country.

          • The church of Herman

            April 11, 2022 at 5:25 pm

            Congressional Herman Cain award winners:

            Republican Ron wright: awarded 2021.

            Republican Jon hagerdorn: rewarded by proxy due to cancer after covid.

            Let all who breath say amen

          • RonDeSantisSucks

            April 12, 2022 at 3:59 pm

            Did you notice that Wasserman-Schultz and Pelosi aren’t on a ventilator? It’s because unlike many Republicans, they are vaccinated.

  • Itold Usoh

    April 13, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    I did not vote for him in 2018, but you know what? Gov DeSantis handled the COVID crisis well (Florida is ranked #31 in age adjusted deaths tied with Delaware). And the economic impact and loss of personal freedom has been much less. We are also now ranked #3 in education (USN&WR), up a few spots. I suspect because he kept schools open.

    But I especially like the fact that he speaks in a plain way. No fancy, obscuratanist language like the left uses. Simple subject / object / direct verb sentence structure. Do a Flesch readability test on a DeSantis transcript. It scores like a Churchill address. And better: when he says something he means it.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Aimee Sachs, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn