Taking a strong stand against the sort of violent, destructive rioting seen in cities across the country since last summer, the Daily Wire reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has warned the instigators of such chaos to stay away from the Sunshine State, a stance sure to meet with the approval of former President Donald Trump.
In a press conference held last week, DeSantis emphasized his administration’s unwavering support for law enforcement, something evidenced by his April decision to sign strong anti-rioting legislation that has been characterized as among the toughest measures taken anywhere in the nation.
The Florida law boosts penalties for any protestor who blocks a roadway or defaces a public monument and creates potential liability for local officials in lawsuits filed by those injured in protests if it is determined that authorities did not take sufficient action to quell violent demonstrations, as NPR noted.
Making it crystal clear that the type of unrest that has overrun cities such as Seattle, Minneapolis, and Kenosha will not be permitted to take root on his watch, DeSantis said, “Hey, if you’re in Portland, you think you can down down to Florida and do this? Stay out of our state, we don’t want you coming down here causing problems,” according to the Daily Wire.
Emphasizing the zero-tolerance approach to rioting that now prevails in Florida, DeSantis continued, “And if anyone does cause these problems, if you try to burn something down, if you try to harm anybody – but particularly a police officer – during one of these violent assemblies, there will be consequences. They will be swift, they will be severe, and they will be such that people that see that happen will know that that’s not something we want to do going forward.”
Drawing a clear distinction between Florida’s stance on rioting and that of liberal local governments in other parts of the country, DeSantis lamented the apparent reluctance on the part of the latter to take decisive action against those causing devastation in their communities.
“I think if you look around the country, what happens is, like in Portland, these people riot every night, they go get their mug shot and then they get put right back on the street to do it again. That’s what we don’t want,” adding:
What we want to say is, you know, the difference between going out and doing First Amendment stuff, which obviously we all support, it’s part of being American. The minute you harm somebody else, or you harm somebody’s property, or you do those types of things, the only way we’re going to put a stop to it is to have very swift penalties for it.
Trump, also a Florida resident, has long voiced his support for DeSantis and his policies and, according to Politico, said late last month that he would “certainly” consider tapping the young governor to be his running mate if he decides to seek the White House again in 2024, explaining, “He’s a friend of mine. I endorsed Ron, and after I endorsed him, he took off like a rocket ship. He’s done a great job as governor.”
Considering the manner in which DeSantis’ own profile has risen so dramatically and favorably within the Republican ranks over the past year, however, it remains to be seen whether he would be content to be Trump’s number-two or if he plans to seek the Oval Office in his own right.