Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis releases first presidential campaign ad: 'Great American comeback'
It's official: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is running for president, the latest Republican to join the 2024 presidential race.
"I'm running for president to lead our Great American Comeback," DeSantis said in a tweet Wednesday night, alongside a 1:14-second video announcing his candidacy.
Earlier Wednesday, DeSantis filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, further confirming his presidential ambitions.
In his video announcement, DeSantis focused on the U.S. border, crime rates, inflation, as well as his recent policy changes in Florida.
"Truth must be our foundation and common sense can no longer be an uncommon virtue," DeSantis said in his video.
"In Florida, we proved it can be done. We chose facts over fear, education over indoctrination, law and order over rioting and disorder. We held the line when freedom hung in the balance. We showed that we can – and must – revitalize America. We need the courage to lead and the strength to win," DeSantis said in the video.
DeSantis had long been rumored to be mounting a presidential campaign, often traveling to Iowa and other states for campaign-style speeches, but until Wednesday, had not officially announced his run.
Over the last several months, DeSantis has touted his recent policies changes in Florida, namely the passing of laws restricting the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools, the banning of children from drag shows and threats to pull liquor licenses for businesses that host drag shows where children attend, discussions about certain books in public schools, and limiting doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and conducting gender-affirming surgeries.
Minutes after DeSantis' video was posted online, Equality Florida, an LGTBQ+ advocacy organization, released its own ad against DeSantis on Twitter.
"A world where @GovRonDeSantis is president is a world where diversity is defunded, where books are banned, where healthcare is criminalized, where freedom is nothing more than a hollow campaign slogan," the group said in a tweet.
DeSantis has also made headlines for his ongoing fight with Disney, specifically over an independent district that governs Walt Disney World. DeSantis removed the previous board – then called the Reedy Creek Improvement District – and replaced it with a new board, now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
DeSantis said Disney has enjoyed special status and privileges in Florida and wanted to level the playing field. Disney CEO Bob Iger said DeSantis is retaliating against them because the company came out against a bill – now law – that prevented discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
That has resulted in lawsuits and countersuits between Disney, DeSantis, and the Board.
Also in recent days, Equality Florida, the NAACP, and The League of United Latin American Citizens have issued "travel advisories" regarding Florida as a result of some of the state's new laws and policies.
DeSantis said he was running for president "to lead our great American comeback."