DeSantis makes campaign stop in Beaufort County

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 2:02 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 1:49 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in Beaufort County on Friday morning at the Okatie Ale House.

DeSantis is currently campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination.

This was one of his stops on what he’s calling his “Our Great American Comeback Tour.”

“My wife and I love the state, as was mentioned she’s a graduate of the College of Charleston. Her parents used to live in Mount Pleasant. When we started dating, I was in the Navy and she was a television reporter in northeast Florida. I was stationed at the Navy station in Mayport. Do we have any Navy veterans in the house? Yes, thank you! It’s a great base to do duty at, but we would come up and visit her parents and I tell you, we had some great times coming up here and we spent a lot of time in the Lowcountry,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis and his wife, Casey, took to the stage to energize their supporters. The governor touted decisions he’s made in Florida’s highest office - particularly during the height of the pandemic.

“We made the decision that we were going to charter a different course. We were going to buck the establishment, buck Fauci, buck the media, buck the left, even going against some of our fellow Republicans. In doing that, remember this was a crazy time three years ago, we faced an unprecedented amount of incoming fire as governor,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis promised the crowd that he’d govern the country in a similar way, if he were to win the presidency.

“A leader cannot put short-term political calculations ahead of the overall interests of the people he represents. I resolved; I’m going to care more about protecting the jobs of the people I represent rather than protecting my own job,” DeSantis said.

After leaving Bluffton, DeSantis traveled to Lexington and Greenville to round out his day in the Palmetto State.

South Carolina is expected to be an important state to campaign strategy, especially since it’s also home to two Republican presidential candidates already – former Governor Nikki Haley and U.S. Senator Tim Scott.

Some South Carolinians are still not sure who they’ll be voting for next year.

“I really go for the candidate and their policies. I haven’t decided if I’m going to vote for him. I hope I will, but I came to hear more,” Bluffton resident Pam Gomez said.

It’s an important time to gain the support of South Carolina Republicans. Some say they want to see a change from former President Donald Trump.

“No more drama. We just want somebody that’s got a head on their shoulders and is going to go in there and run the country. No more drama, no more having to go to court, no more indictments, no more any of that crap,” Bluffton resident Jim Tamulis said.

But a recent back-and-forth between the Trump and DeSantis campaigns over who would get work done faster as president still being brought up today.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that they can do this in 24 hours, or six months, or anything like that. This is going to be trench warfare. You have to understand how to use the levers of power. At the end of the day, I think the fate of constitutional government hangs in the balance,” DeSantis said.

Still, the DeSantis camp prioritized South Carolina early on. A Republican-leaning state that’s expected to be among the first to vote in the upcoming primaries. The Republican presidential candidate has won the state every election since 1980.

After a day in South Carolina, DeSantis’ team says their next campaign stop is in Iowa.

Democratic response to DeSantis’ visit

Democrats say winning South Carolina is an utmost priority. Especially since the state is also hosting the first Democratic primary next year.

“The first step will be for Joe Biden to win South Carolina. Which he will. The DNC is fully behind President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris,” Democratic National Committee Chair Jamie Harrison said.

Harrison says Biden’s record and resume are at the center of his campaign.

“We just need to get out there to make sure that people know what this president has accomplished. I’d have to say that Joe Biden has led one of the most accomplished presidencies of my lifetime.”

The Beaufort County Democrats released a statement Friday morning about DeSantis’ visit denouncing him as a candidate.

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