On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Republicans now had a 120,000-voter advantage in Florida, describing the conditions that led to the GOP’s surge.
Here’s what DeSantis said at Monday’s press conference, where he signed another piece of election integrity legislation, designed to ensure that elections remain secure in the Sunshine State.
“When I got elected governor, there were almost 300,000 more registered Democrats in the state of Florida than Republicans. Today, there are over 120,000 more registered Republicans, and we never had more Republicans in the history of the state until I became governor.”
“I think people do appreciate a free state and I think they appreciate a lot of what we’ve been able to do,” he added, pointing to a few of the key pieces of legislation the legislature and his administration made a reality.
“We had a special session of the legislature last week and … the legislature passed a couple of bills,” DeSantis said, pointing to the congressional districts, including action taken against Disney’s Reedy Creek, which he said, “was basically run by Walt Disney Company.”
Then DeSantis said, defending the action from critics:
“That was really the first step in what’s going to be a process to make sure that, you know, Disney should not run its own government. Disney should not be exempt from the laws that every single person in Florida has to pass.”
“And some people are trying to say somehow that they would get a tax break out of not having their special treatment. Trust me, under no circumstances, will Disney not pay its fair share of taxes when this is done. People have also said that somehow because they’ve been able to run up tax-free debt with these bonds, but somehow the bonds are going to get dumped on a truck. Now under no circumstances will Disney be able to not pay its debts, we will make sure of that. Do not worry about that.”
He also emphasized Florida’s commitment to free speech, explaining that the state owns “nearly $200 billion in Twitter stock” and sent a letter to the company’s board of directors last week “just saying look, Elon Musk is putting a very good offer on the table, and you better have a good business reason why you’re not doing it, because if it’s for politics, we’re going to hold you accountable.”
“Well, I’m glad to say that it appears that the Twitter board of directors has accepted Elon Musk, and I just think it’s very telling that you have some of these legacy media outlets in D.C. and New York saying that this is such a bad thing … but it shows you what they’ve used these tech platforms to do, when these platforms first came on the scene, they billed themselves as being open platforms as letting people share ideas. …
And yet it seems like over the last five or six years, these Big Tech companies including Twitter, have gone from being open platforms to being enforcers of the narrative. …If you report things that are inconvenient to the narrative, like the New York Post with Hunter Biden, they will take it down or freeze your account. If you do satire that bites too hard, like the Babylon Bee did, they will freeze your account, and so that is not healthy for a free society.”
DeSantis’ declaration came just days after his wife, first lady Casey DeSantis, stated that Republicans were leading Democrats by 116,000 votes:
Policy Matters. Leadership Matters. Floridians overwhelming support @RonDeSantisFL and his freedom agenda.
Since Election Day 2020, we’ve seen a net gain of +250,000 voters register as Republicans. Today, we have more than +116,000 more Republicans than Democrats in the state.
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) April 19, 2022
DeSantis has attributed the surge, in part, to his administration’s freedom-based policies, as Americans fled the heavy hand of blue states during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.