DeSantis makes campaign swing through South Carolina

In a visit to South Carolina, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started his day in the Lowcountry and wrapped up in the Upstate.
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 6:15 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Just a week after officially announcing he’s running for president, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made his first swing through South Carolina as a Republican candidate on Friday.

It was a full trip through South Carolina, with DeSantis starting his day in the Lowcountry and wrapping up in the Upstate.

And in between, he stopped in the Midlands for what his campaign described as a “fireside chat” in Lexington County.

There was a standing-room-only crowd of an estimated 500 for the hourlong event.

DeSantis touted what he views as conservative accomplishments of his administration in Florida – naming the passage of permitless gun carry, expansion of universal school choice and private-school voucher programs, and, recently, enacting a six-week abortion ban.

“What Florida shows is that you can take all these principles and beliefs and values that we hold, you can actually win big victories and institute that as policy, and then you see the state is doing better than ever,” he said.

DeSantis also spoke about his ongoing feud with Disney – and says as president, he’ll wage a war on the “woke.”

“We will fight the woke in the schools. We will fight the woke in the corporations,” he said. “We will fight the woke in the Congress. We will never, ever surrender to the woke mob.”

The event was briefly interrupted by a heckler criticizing the Florida governor as he spoke about getting parents more involved in the classroom – and restricting what can be taught.

“We’re not going to let you impose an agenda on our kids,” DeSantis said/ “We’re going to stand up for our kids.”

Ahead of DeSantis’ event, South Carolina Democrats said the agenda he’s pushed in Florida and wants to bring to the rest of the country is anti-freedom.

“It is clear that Gov. DeSantis is more worried about catering to the right-wing conservative MAGA base and stoking culture wars than delivering for hardworking families,” said state Rep. Beth Bernstein, D-Richland.

But DeSantis says his vision is the one that can turn around what he described as Republicans’ recent culture of losing.

“You’re not going to get a mulligan on this 2024 election,” he said, “and understand, the Dems are playing for keeps.”