TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron Desantis and other statewide Republican candidates made their final stop on the Florida GOP’s “Keep Florida Free” tour Wednesday night in Tampa.
DeSantis made no mention of his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in a room full of Hillsborough County Republican voters.
Instead, he focused on his record in office.
“We’ve proudly said Florida is the state where woke goes to die,” DeSantis said.
The governor also directed most of his political attacks at President Joe Biden.
“You’ve got to understand with the border it’s a policy disaster,” DeSantis said, “but it’s also a constitutional failure. Biden took an oath to take care that the laws of this country are faithfully executed.”
DeSantis blasted the federal government’s new student loan forgiveness plan.
“The colleges should be on the hook for this,” he said. “They’re the ones who have benefited from all this money and I think Harvard’s got a $50 billion endowment. Let them pay off the loans.”
The governor says under his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic thousands fled states with more restrictive policies for Florida.
“They refused to admit the lockdowns failed,” he said. “They refused to admit forced masking failed.”
After announcing last week the arrests of 20 felons for illegal voting, DeSantis shared the next targets of the state’s new Office of Election Crimes and Security.
“We’re gonna being doing people that double voted in different jurisdictions, which happens and honestly it happens on different parties, it’s not just one party,” DeSantis said, “and then we’re also gonna go after illegal aliens that voted we’re gonna hold them accountable, too.”
DeSantis also mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci, but he did not repeat his line from another rally earlier in the day saying, “someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac.”
At the end of the rally, DeSantis was joined on stage by his wife Casey DeSantis, Sen. Marco Rubio, CFO Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody.
DeSantis narrowly defeated Andrew Gillum back in 2018. A Democrat has not served as Florida’s governor since the late 1990s.