Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis had his way with California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday. DeSantis was visiting California for his speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
“I knew you guys got a lot of problems out here, but your governor is very concerned about what we’re doing in Florida, so I figured I had to come by,” DeSantis said at the beginning of his speech.
The governor spoke on “The Courage to be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” which is a top-selling book.
Fox News reported that more than 1,300 people attended the event.
“I think if you look over the last four or five years, and you look at the performances of individual states, and you compare Florida versus California, New York, Illinois, some of those other states, we have had a great experiment, a great test in governing philosophies,” DeSantis said. “Because, of course, you know, we approach things much differently in Florida than you guys have out here, much differently in Florida than they’ve done in New York and in Illinois.”
DeSantis did not miss the chance to take a shot at the way Newsom handled the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can tell you, we had families move from the Pacific coast just for the fact that we had schools open in Florida, when you didn’t have them open in many other states,” he said. “We did things like ban vaccine passports in the state of Florida. States said, ‘You want to go stay in a hotel, go to a restaurant, you got to cough up your vax papers on these mRNA shots.’ And we said that’s none of their business. Everyone has a right to participate in society. That’s a personal choice that you make whether to take that or not, and we’re not going to let you be excluded.”
“Now, what ended up happening because we did that, one of the things that ended up happening was in 2021, Florida set a record for domestic tourism,” he said. “If you compare the change in tourism in California from 2019 to 2021, California tourism declined by 22%.”