(USA Features) Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared to take a swipe at former President George W. Bush’s so-called ‘amnesty coalition’ he said was prevalent in the GOP political establishment during his two terms in office.
During the keynote speech at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Pennsylvania, DeSantis also appeared to suggest that his political road has farther to go, perhaps as a 2024 presidential contender.
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“There’s a lot of talk about unity or disunity in the Republican Party, this person, that person … I will tell you this, as we look forward to the fights ahead, we cannot — indeed we will not — go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear,” he said.
“We are not going to do that. We have to reject open borders, we have to stand for the rule of law and American sovereignty,” he added. “And we cannot be for amnesty in any form. We’ve got to stand with the American people and we have to put Americans first.”
The Florida governor’s remarks come after months of the former president lobbying GOP lawmakers to help President Joe Biden pass amnesty for an estimated 11 to 22 million people living illegally in the U.S.
Bush’s lobbying aligns with several Republican establishment-leaning organizations including the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the Bloomberg-funded New American Economy, and the Texas Association of Business, Breitbart News reported.
Most polling has shown that amnesty is not popular among rank-and-file Republican voters who instead backed former President Donald Trump’s enforcement-heavy approach.
Earlier, DeSantis also hinted at a lengthier political future.
“I can tell you this: In the state of Florida, with me as governor, I have only begun to fight,” he told the approximately 750 attendees.