Speaking to the California Republican Party Friday night, Ron DeSantis yet again insulted the University of Florida’s 3-1 football team for the benefit of juicing an out-of-state crowd on the presidential campaign trail.
The Governor told the Fall Summit crowd that UF was “the top ranked public university in America.”
“No one would have thought that was possible 20 or 25 years ago. I just need their football team to start doing a little bit better and we’ll be doing really well,” he joked.
Of course, DeSantis has made a habit of riffing on the Gators football team, such as during an August trip to Georgia.
“I will say, as somebody who was born and raised in Florida, the Florida-Georgia game was a little easier lift for us back in the day than it is now. And you Georgians know what I mean,” said DeSantis.
“So, congratulations on all the success,” DeSantis added. “We’ve done better on almost everything policy-wise. I can point out many things. College football has not necessarily been one of them. So we’re trying to turn the corner.”
He promised and delivered an amped-up frivolity throughout: “We’re excited to be here. We don’t need teleprompters. We don’t need notes. Let her rip and have a good time.”
Indeed, there were a few new lines and jokes amid the hit list. For starters, he brought his beef with the Walt Disney Company to the West Coast.
“I didn’t even know if I was allowed. I’m a little close to Disneyland. I didn’t know if I was allowed to be here,” DeSantis quipped.
The humor continued.
“We just got a taste of Southern California traffic. I did an interview for Bill Maher’s show and I guess it’s somewhere in Hollywood and we drove from there to here and I don’t know how many miles it was, but it took us about two hours to get here,” DeSantis noted. “So we saw the bumper to bumper and we were able to do that, which is, I know a lot of people in southern California have to deal with it.”
DeSantis also tweaked Donald Trump’s claim that Trump was responsible for Florida going Republican.
“I understand that one of my residents was here earlier saying that he turned Florida red. All I will say is Ronald Reagan made the point. There’s no limit to what you can do when you don’t care who gets the credit,” DeSantis harrumphed.
“I just wish if he was the one that turned Florida red that he wouldn’t have torn Georgia and Arizona Blue,” he added, “because that’s not been good for us at all.”
The deprecation of Donald Trump notwithstanding, the Governor faces a deep hole in polling in the state that could lock him or anyone else who’s not the former President out of getting any delegates from the state Richard Nixon called “the Big Enchilada.”
DeSantis got cheers throughout the remarks, though, notably when he vowed to use lethal force to leave suspected cartel members “stone cold dead” at the border not too far from where he spoke.