TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in West Palm Beach Wednesday to announce some of the policy goals for the 2022 legislative session, but turned from a focus on election security to an attack on the “Brandon administration,” a popular meme phrase critiquing President Joe Biden.
The crowd at Hilton Palm Beach Airport launched into chants of “Let’s Go Brandon,” after DeSantis called the current presidential administration the “Brandon administration.”
Using the phrase as a jumping off point, he criticized corporate media companies such as NBC News for what he called partisan slant in favor of President Biden.
“If you look at all the things that are going on and you see big tech, you see corporate media,” DeSantis said. “Although they weren’t very happy with Virginia last night, if you were watching some of that, that was some major coping going on… if you look at that, if you look at what’s going on with some of the big corporations with their woke agenda, when you look at the Biden — the Brandon administration — in terms of what they’re…”
The crowd’s cheering grew louder and DeSantis paused, laughing at the joke. The “Let’s Go Brandon” chant continued and the governor explained the origin of the phrase.
“I don’t even know, do you know how that started?” DeSantis asked. “You have the media, they’re hand-wringing over this. It was at a NASCAR race, and they’re doing an interview with the driver, I guess his name was Brandon, and the crowd starts chanting ‘very colorful language’ about Joe Biden.”
DeSantis said what the crowd at the NASCAR event was saying was “fairly obvious,” and that crowds had said “way worse about Trump” during his presidency.
“So they’re chanting this, and you have a reporter from NBC who knows that’s what they’re saying and she’s trying to cover for Biden and she says ‘yeah they’re chanting let’s go Brandon,’ and that was a lie,” DeSantis said. “So this chant has taken on a life of its own because it exposes the dishonesty of these corporate reporters and what they do every day. They try to lie. So now you see it.”
The governor said after Virginia’s gubernatorial election, that people are “willing to fight back.” He said Floridians know he’s willing to fight back, and that the state is fighting.
“What we need now more than ever, with all of the stuff that’s going on, is we need people to stand for the right things,” DeSantis said. “But they need to stand up and they need to display courage, and backbone and not back down in the face of all of the things that we have to deal with.”
DeSantis referenced Winston Churchill during World War II, who compared some of his fellow politicians in the House of Commons to a “boneless wonder.”
“We don’t have time for boneless wonders right now,” DeSantis said. “We need people who are going to stand up, hold the line, not back down. I’m doing that, we’re doing a lot, but I’ve only begun to fight in the state of Florida.”
Earlier in the event, the governor had already focused some of his attention to critiques of corporate media companies, Big Tech and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We’re in litigation with big tech,” DeSantis said. “I actually believe that if you want a free society you can’t have a handful of companies in silicon valley control the speech in this country. And that’s what’s happening right now. And they interfered in the lection in 2020, by censoring things that they didn’t want to be able to help Biden and they’ve done things with COVID, to censor the truth about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which we know was a big problem. And oh by the way, Fauci funded Wuhan Lab. He funded it.”
DeSantis, using a self-admitted play on an “old adage,” called for Fauci to be fired.
“A recession is when a neighbor loses his job,” DeSantis said. “A depression is when you lose yours. A recovery is when Dr. Fauci loses his. He’s been wrong time and again, his policies have been very damaging to tens of millions of people and we know what the NIH has been doing is cruelty to animals for what they’re doing to these beagles and these puppies.”
DeSantis said the NIH should be “cleaned out” and the animal testing should not be funded by American tax dollars.
Going back to the battle with media companies and Big Tech, DeSantis said the state would be taking steps to give residents rights to control the use of their private data and prevent tech companies from violating Floridians’ data privacy, and ensure their freedoms are respected.
A commotion in the crowd had temporarily derailed the event, but the attendees had been chanting support for the governor and his family before he launched another set of criticisms at some common political targets.
He then switched back to big tech and corporate media in light of last night’s elections and attacked what he called companies with “woke agendas.”
Amid cheers from the crowd, DeSantis left the podium to speak with residents as the event ended.