Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted his achievements as the Sunshine State’s governor in his inauguration speech on Tuesday in spite of what he called the “floundering” bureaucracy in Washington, DC.
“Florida’s success has been made more difficult by the floundering federal establishment in Washington, D.C.,” DeSantis said. “It wields its authority through a sprawling, unaccountable and out-of-touch bureaucracy that does not act on behalf of us, but instead looms over us and imposes its will upon us.”
“This has caused many to be pessimistic about the country’s future,” DeSantis added. “Some even say that failure is inevitable. Florida is proof positive that we the people are not destined for failure.”
DeSantis, 44, called his state a “refuge of sanity” compared to Washington, DC, and the rest of the nation.
“Florida has led the way in preserving what the … father of our country called the ‘sacred fire of liberty,’” he said.
The popular Florida governor defeated Democrat Charlie Crist in record-breaking fashion in November, winning reelection to the governor’s mansion by nearly 20 points.
His landslide victory contrasted with what was widely seen as disappointing 2022 midterm election results for Republicans across the country, who failed to take control of the US Senate and only succeeded in winning the House majority by a narrow margin.
DeSantis’s shot across the bow at leaders in Washington, DC, comes as Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) failed to win the House speakership after not gaining the necessary number of votes in three straight ballots, having been opposed by 20 Republicans on the final ballot before the House adjourned.
DeSantis is presumed to be a likely 2024 presidential contender, with several polls placing him ahead of former President Donald Trump. The 76-year-old former president is the only declared GOP presidential candidate for 2024.