Ron DeSantis’ Rust Belt identity began with the Steel Curtain

DeSantis Japan
The Governor soon enough became a Bucs fan though.

Florida’s Governor continues to play up his Rust Belt roots.

On Friday’s Hugh Hewitt Show, the Governor discussed his early years, when he briefly was incubated into Pittsburgh Steeler fandom.

“Well, Hugh, there are baby pictures of me, unfortunately for you, because I know your allegiance, in Pittsburgh Steeler regalia. You remember, I was born in ’78. That was the heyday of the 1970s Steelers dynasty. So that was kind of what my father set me up as,” DeSantis said.

The Steeler fandom ultimately didn’t take though.

“Now, truth be told, I grew up in the Tampa Bay area. And I became a long-suffering Bucs fan at a very young age when they were in the orange uniforms and they would lose pretty much every year with losing seasons. And we were able to follow them through winning a Super Bowl 20 years ago, and then of course with Tom Brady coming. So I’m a Bucs fan. That’s just what ended up happening.”

DeSantis has made note of his Rust Belt roots more of late, including during a trip to Ohio last month.

The Governor, addressing the Butler County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner, said Thursday that he represented so-called “Ohio values.”

“I can stand here representing Ohio values because the two most important women in my life (are from Ohio),” DeSantis said. “My mother is from Youngstown, and my wife is from Troy, and so my family reflects your family.”

One quote from his book, “The Courage to Be Free,” has gotten renewed exposure of late.

“I was geographically raised in Tampa Bay,” DeSantis writes, “but culturally my upbringing reflected the working-class communities in western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio — from weekly church attendance to the expectation that one would earn his keep. This made me God-fearing, hard-working and America-loving.”

During a recent appearance touting the book with the Fox News Channel’s Mark Levin, DeSantis explained how the region’s values formed him and buoyed his innate sense of conservatism.

“My father’s from western Pennsylvania, my mother’s from Northeastern Ohio. So that is, like, steel country. That is like blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth and, as you know Mark, Florida’s very eclectic. People kind of come from all over, we do have a culture and so I grew up in that culture, but really it was kind of those Rust Belt values that raised me.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Billy the Bamboozler

    May 6, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    He will not win. Just too far right. Make America Florida is a big flop. Religious police state no good.

  • Michael K

    May 6, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    Geography must be a hazy concept for the governor, since he also feels perfectly at home in Great Britain and Iowa, but I do wonder if he is related to Mussolini.

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 6, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Good evening America,
    I am proud to introduce to you the next President of The United States of America, PRESIDENT RON DESANTIS !!!!!!
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “Most Read FP To See What I Will Say Next” American

    • Elliott Offen

      May 6, 2023 at 9:17 pm

      He’s not gonna be the next president. Trump will split the vote to favor the Dems if he has to. He will do anything to become the nominee including ruin the GOP’s chances of winning otherwise. Your brain is the size of a walnut.

    • Mr. Haney

      May 8, 2023 at 10:14 am

      You must be proud to be the idiot that you are.

  • Lynda

    May 7, 2023 at 10:35 am

    Well, Ron, I am sorry to tell you that destroying Florida with the cruel bills your administration has created and worshiping a myth of “Hard-working blue collar culture” from Ohio won’t be enough to convince general election voters to give you their votes (for anything, much less President of the USA). Your only hope is to be TFG’s VP. After the last trump VP ended his career in a burst of “Hang Mike Pence”, not too many sane people will take that job.

    Give up now and you may still be able to be a Hero in FL by fixing the Property Insurance market for a state predicted to have large segments of land under water in 20 years. Not challenging enough? Resign, get yourself a “C” suite job and try running a profitable business with your bullying tactics and crazy ideas of how people want to live in the USA (or FL) in 2023.

  • Jojo

    May 8, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    Ok, puddin’

  • Tjb

    May 10, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    For a guy who tells the world that he created an environment in Florida we’re it’s citizens has the greatest pride in their state history, Ron spend a lotta time praising other states and their culture.

Comments are closed.


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