DeSantis gave GOP donors insight into migrant flight plans

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told top Republican Party donors last weekend that he was considering ferrying migrants to places like Martha’s Vineyard – just days before secretly beginning flights to the island of Massachusetts.

“I have this money. I want to be useful. Maybe we’ll go to Texas and help. Maybe we’ll send to Chicago, Hollywood, Martha’s Vineyard. Who knows?” he said to applause during a Friday night speech at the Four Seasons in Orlando, where hundreds of the party’s top donors gathered to hear him, according to a detailed account from someone in the room. Hall.

The account was confirmed by a second person present for the speech. The two spoke on condition of anonymity to release details of the private event.

DeSantis on Wednesday sent two planes full of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, an enclave on Tony Island in Massachusetts where several prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, have homes. This followed similar efforts by Republican governors in Texas and Arizona to offer migrants free bus rides to more liberal parts of the country.

Flying immigrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard is DeSantis’ latest move to grab national stardom and cement his place among conservative supporters.

The 51-minute donor-retired speech provided a clear insight into how he could sell himself to Republican base voters in a possible 2024 presidential bid. The remarks were full of grievances and pugilism from culture war, portraying the nation’s political future as a battle against a conspiracy by leftists to impose their ideology and turn dissidents into “second-class citizens”. His message, according to those in the room, was that America should be more like Florida — and that he would be a culture warrior.

“We’re not just discussing tax rates. We are not just discussing normal policies. You know, we argue about whether people who oppose leftist ideology should have a voice in our government, in society at all,” DeSantis said, according to people in the room. Of the Liberals, he said, “And they’ve been winning that fight for, I would say, the last five or ten years..”

Migrants airlifted to Martha’s Vineyard as GOP steps up protest against immigration

DeSantis has built a massive political operation in recent months, raising more than $100 million as he zigzags around the country for elite fundraisers. He is leading his re-election race this year, and advisers want him to win handily to send a signal to the national party, according to people familiar with the matter. He has repeatedly refused to rule out running against Trump, who has increasingly paid attention to DeSantis and his surge in Republican primary polls, according to Trump advisers.

DeSantis said in his speech that the purpose of sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard and other enclaves was to send a political message, those at the event said, and called the efforts ‘brilliant’ like Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R).

“I think it’s been very effective,” he said of the flooding of liberal towns with migrants.

The Trump administration – led by immigration adviser Stephen Miller – initially floated such a plan, but concerns within Immigration and Customs Enforcement led them to scuttle the idea, which caused considerable backlash to the time.

Much of the speech was devoted to his response to the coronavirus, where he bragged that Florida had remained open and contrasted his response favorably with most scientific experts. He bragged about not allowing “vaccine passports” and not mandating the use of the vaccine in Florida, although the state initially encouraged the distribution of vaccines and ran advertisements encouraging people to take it. He also raised questions about the safety of coronavirus vaccines.

DeSantis did not joke with the crowd, thank his hosts, or even expect applause at times as the audience cheered him on, according to several people familiar with the rally. In a private roundtable with major donors, he mostly gave the same speech he gave to the larger group. He was retired for about three hours. Several people familiar with the event said it received mixed reactions from donors, who liked its broader message but wished it had connected more personally.

Much of the talk seemed focused on national culture wars. He complained about the destruction of statues of historical figures and attacked Disney for being too liberal in their row with him over a Florida law limiting what teachers can say about gender and sexual orientation , dubbed the “don’t say gay” law. by critics.

You know, sad to say, we’ve had a lot of Republican governors over the years who bowed to corporate pressure,” DeSantis said. “Well, I’m standing there. I didn’t move anything. I stood up for what was right.

He stoked fears of voter fraud and attacked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for funding election administrators in 2020; Democratic billionaire donor George Soros for backing more lenient prosecutors; and teachers who raise with young students the idea that gender is a choice. He criticized the New York Times’ “1619 Project” and the way race and racism are taught in many schools.

Floridians give points to DeSantis for his covid position. Will it hold?

“We need to focus on teaching these young children to read and write, add and subtract and not have ideology shoved down their throats,” he said.

He also warned the crowd that the Democrats planned to change the structure of the system of government in the United States if they continued to hold power. It included, as he described, liberal efforts to add justices to the Supreme Court, add congressional representation for the District of Columbia, replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system, and relax the laws of identification of voters. Most Democrats aren’t united behind these efforts and don’t have the votes to pass them in the current Congress.

“Unless you bend the knee to their left-wing agenda, they want to make you a second-class citizen,” he said. “For them, unity is about taking everyone in the majority who doesn’t agree with them, making them second-class citizens, and then unifying whatever is left standing.

He said the only solution was to fight back and be prepared to stand up to criticism from Democrats and the media.

“We strapped on the full armor of God,” he said. “We stay strong.”

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