Seven Sunshine State GOPs DEFECT to Donald Trump – as the Governor tells Freedom Summit the ex-president is ‘talking a big game’ but ‘not winning the big policy fights’
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Ron DeSantis used his speech at the Florida Freedom Summit on Saturday to take subtle digs at his rival Donald Trump as more legislators in his state flip their endorsements to the former president. 

The Florida Governor, 45, walked on stage to loud applause and told the crowd he did not need teleprompters because you ‘got to speak from the heart’ and asked organizers to take them down.

He did not directly name Trump but he has previously accused him of being ‘wedded to the teleprompter’ and stumbling without one.

DeSantis, who was again careful not to name the former president, mocked those who talk a ‘big game’ and said: ‘But if you’re not ultimately winning elections and ultimately winning the big policy fights, then it’s not going to matter.’ 

Trump is set to close out the event later today and his campaign provoked DeSantis by announcing endorsements from seven more Republican Florida legislators. 

Ron DeSantis used his speech at Florida Freedom Summit on Saturday to take subtle digs at his rival Donald Trump as more legislators in his state flip endorsements to the former president

Ron DeSantis used his speech at Florida Freedom Summit on Saturday to take subtle digs at his rival Donald Trump as more legislators in his state flip endorsements to the former president

Trump is set to close out the event later today and his campaign provoked DeSantis by announcing endorsements from seven more Republican Florida legislators

Trump is set to close out the event later today and his campaign provoked DeSantis by announcing endorsements from seven more Republican Florida legislators

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DeSantis was introduced to the stage by his wife Casey as ‘America’s Governor and the next president of the United States.’ 

He thanked his supporters for coming but was quick to say: ‘Wait a minute, can we get rid of the teleprompters?

‘We have a president, we don’t even know who the president is- whoever’s loading the teleprompter.

‘No I don’t think we need that in Florida. Let’s get those down. You got to speak from the heart, it’s not about reading from a teleprompter.’

He began his speech by lauding Florida as the ‘freest state in all of these United States’ and began reeling off his accomplishments as governor. 

This included his opposition to Covid restrictions and vaccine mandates in 2020 when he kept the economy and schools running. 

DeSantis also boasted about his battle for parental rights against Democrats and Disney.

‘It’s important to fight,’ he said. ‘And if you don’t have the stomach for these fights, then you should probably find another line of work.’

The politician added: ‘It’s just just as important that we win these fights.

‘You can sit there and talk about the game, you can have rhetoric, you can do this make promises. 

‘But if you’re not ultimately winning elections, and ultimately winning the big policy fights, that is not going to matter.’ 

DeSantis highlighted the ban on sanctuary cities and cross-gender transition operations for minors within his state. 

‘Florida’s the model!’ he declared. ‘We know how to get it done.’

His speech came after Trump’s campaign unveiled five more Florida endorsements from legislators who previously backed DeSantis. 

State Senator Debbie Mayfield and State Representatives Jessica Baker, Webster Barnaby, Alina Garcia and Kevin Steele flipped to Trump. 

While State Representatives Mike Beltran and David Borrero, who had been neutral in the race, also joined them in their support for the former president. 

The Florida Governor, 45, who was careful not to name the former president, mocked those who talk a 'big game' and said: 'But if you¿re not ultimately winning elections and ultimately winning the big policy fights, then it¿s not going to matter'

The Florida Governor, 45, who was careful not to name the former president, mocked those who talk a ‘big game’ and said: ‘But if you’re not ultimately winning elections and ultimately winning the big policy fights, then it’s not going to matter’ 

DeSantis was introduced to the stage by his wife Casey as 'America's Governor and the next president of the United States'

DeSantis was introduced to the stage by his wife Casey as ‘America’s Governor and the next president of the United States’  

His speech came after Trump's campaign unveiled five more Florida endorsements from legislators who previously backed DeSantis

His speech came after Trump’s campaign unveiled five more Florida endorsements from legislators who previously backed DeSantis

In a statement, State Rep Baker said: ‘As instability grows around the world and economic uncertainty takes root here at home, folks across my district tell me constantly they want to see President Donald Trump back in the White House and Gov. Ron DeSantis back on the job here in Florida, finishing the work he promised to do less than a year ago.’ 

While State Senator Mayfield said: ‘It’s time to unite our party behind Donald Trump, prepare for the year ahead and work together to prevent another four years of Joe Biden’s disastrous policies from destroying this nation that we all love so dearly.’

Some legislators in Florida have privately told The Messenger that they are only sticking with DeSantis over Trump because they do not want bills or town spending projects to be vetoed. 

Florida state Rep Randy Fine, a Jewish Republican, changed his endorsement from DeSantis to Trump last month and said the governor has not come out strong enough on antisemitism. 

Polls in key early states show DeSantis is losing ground on Trump. In Iowa, the Florida Governor is 27 percentage points behind the former president. 

While in South Carolina, DeSantis is polling at 11 percent behind Trump’s 53 percent. 





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