Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed fellow Republicans for acting like “potted plants” instead of fighting against the left’s “woke ideology” during an event Thursday, according to a report.
DeSantis made the accusations as he touted the Sunshine State as the country’s new “leading red state” during a speech at a three-day event hosted by the political group Club for Growth — which dozens of the biggest GOP donors attended, Fox News reported.
“If woke ideology takes over it will destroy this country. We are not going to let that happen in the state of Florida,” he said during his 40-minute speech at a Florida seaside retreat called The Breakers.
The governor, who is a likely candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said the best way to defeat the so-called “wokeness” is to take the offensive.
“Republicans need to not shy away from these fights just because the media and the left’s going to call you names,” DeSantis said.
“Some of these Republicans, they just sit back like potted plants, and they let the media define the terms of the debate,” he added. “They let the left define the terms of the debate.”
DeSantis, 44, said he hasn’t been afraid to stomp down the “pernicious” woke ideology in Florida, which has made his state a political success story for Republicans.
“You can fight back, and you can beat these people,” he said. “Because in Florida we’ve beaten them time and time again — on education, on lockdowns, you name it — we’ve come out on top. And not only have we come out on top in policy, we’ve transformed the state into the nation’s leading red state.”
One such battle the Republican won was against media behemoth Disney which had lobbied against the governor’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
On Monday, DeSantis signed legislation that put Disney’s self-governed Reedy Creek Improvement District under state control.
“I don’t think it works if you say corporate America can advance the left’s agenda with no check and balance if we’re just going to act like it’s none of our business, because it’s affecting our county,” he said during his speech Thursday.
“My polices are helping to protect people from having the woke ideology shoved down their throats in institution after institution,” he later added.
The Florida governor did not address a potential White House bid during his speech, but instead spoke of how his work in the sunshine state could serve as a blueprint for the rest of the country, according to Fox.
“The best defense is a good offense sometimes, and I think for a guy like me and other Republicans that’s certainly the case,” he said.
Earlier in the week, DeSantis bragged that Florida’s Democratic Party has effectively become a “dead, rotten carcass” in what was long considered a swing state.