Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), who is widely expected to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2024, said during a speech in Michigan that Republicans have developed a "culture of losing" in recent years, while Florida has cultivated a "culture of winning."
“In this endeavor, there is no substitute for victory,” DeSantis declared. “And what I see around the country with Republicans is they’ve started to develop a culture of losing.”
The speech came as a leftist judge won a special election for the state Supreme Court, shifting the court's majority from conservative to liberal.
“In Florida, we have a culture of winning, we have a culture of execution, and we have a culture of delivering results,” DeSantis said. “And you need to be able to win. It’s not easy. When you stand for the right things in this day and age, man, you are going to have a lot of blowback. Leadership isn’t cost free.”
DeSantis referenced recent times when conservatives have had to battle culture to stand up for their values.
“You got to have the courage of your convictions,” he added. “And you got to understand that whether it’s a governor, whether it’s a mother going into a school board meeting to protest some of the insanity, they’re gonna come at you, and you’re gonna have to make some sacrifices. But you know, I think it’s worth making those sacrifices, lord knows people have made much bigger sacrifices in the history of our country so that we could be free.”
💯 DESANTIS: “What I see around the country with Republicans is they’ve started to develop a culture of LOSING…In Florida, we have a culture of WINNING. We have a culture of EXECUTION and we have a culture of DELIVERING RESULTS.” pic.twitter.com/Iqp4ENGlPq
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) April 6, 2023
DeSantis has put forward proposals in Florida to stop liberal policies, and has signed into law educational reforms that give parents more rights over what their children learn and keep talk about sexuality out of classrooms up to third grade.
In recent months, he has used Florida as an example of what could be done on a national level to protect people's freedoms of speech and religion better.
The phrase "Make America Florida" has circulated widely in advance of his expected presidential candidacy and been referenced by DeSantis as well.
DeSantis could have been poking at Trump with his comments, since Trump was the de facto party leader through the last few losing election cycles.
Even the midterm elections were disappointing for Republicans, and they failed to gain a majority in the Senate as some of Trump's key endorsed candidates narrowly lost.
Trump has begun to attack DeSantis, who has been his closest rival in polls since before he announced his bid for 2024.
His favorite nickname for DeSantis seems to be "Ron DeSanctimonious," but DeSantis has shrugged off the attacks so far.