Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered fiery remarks aimed at the “corporate media” as well as Republicans in Washington whom he does not believe are sufficiently conservative, sounding an urgent tone for the fate of the country ahead of the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential contest.
In particular, he railed at media outlets that pushed the baseless “Russian collusion conspiracy” claim that then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump was a stooge for Moscow, but then never apologized or tried to correct the record.
“When a society like ours is veering away from the truth like we are, those that stand up and tell truth will face fire,” DeSantis said. “That type of society goes after the truth-tellers more than anything because they understand those who tell the truth represent a threat to their power. In times like these, there is no substitute for courage.”
He added: “You’ve got a press that for over two years created a fake conspiracy theory involving Russian collusion. I was in Congress when that started. I was only one of a handful of people who knew that was BS from the beginning. But they did it. And they milked it. And was all because they disagreed with the outcome of the 2016 election.”
The Florida Republican then hit the corporate media for portraying Americans concerned about allegations of voting improprieties during the 2020 election in a negative light.
“They talked about complaining about 2020? They never accepted Donald Trump. They created and manufactured a conspiracy theory to try to drive him out of office and to kneecap him and his presidency and we know it was false. We know that there was no truth to it,” DeSantis said, harkening back to his days as a U.S. congressman from Florida before winning a gubernatorial race in 2018.
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“Have any of them actually apologized?” DeSantis asked. “Heck, have any of them even said, ‘We were wrong about that’? No, they give each other awards. They actually award Pulitzer Prizes for reporting false stories.”
“So that’s where we are,” he continued. “They gaslight. They display partisanship. They smear people. It’s all to create a blizzard of lies, trying to blind the American people from the actual truth. And so we live in Orwellian times in which the powers that be want to tell us that up is down and left is right.
“And when a society like ours is veering away from the truth like we are, those that stand up and tell truth will face fire. That type of society goes after the truth-tellers more than anything because they understand those who tell the truth represent a threat to their power. So in times like these, there is no substitute for courage. Courage in the face of a dishonest press. Courage to stare down things like cancel culture. Courage to speak up for those in America, many of whom don’t have a voice,” DeSantis continued.
“Winston Churchill told a story during the appeasement in the 1930s when he was in the Parliament,” he added. “And he talked about when he was a kid, the Barnum & Bailey was coming to town and there was an act that was just too grotesque for human eyes. His nanny wouldn’t let him go see it. It was called the ‘boneless wonder.’ And he said, ‘I think now, where is this boneless wonder?’ He said it’s now no longer in the circus; it’s in the front row of the House of Commons.”
DeSantis explained, “These are people that weren’t standing up against Adolf Hitler.”
“So right now conservatives, we don’t have time for boneless wonders,” DeSantis exhorted. “You get elected to office, you need to be willing to stand up. Stand up against the press. … You stand up and you’re strong in your convictions, there are millions and millions of people out there that will be with you forever,” the governor continued.
“The minute you go up there and you’re scared of the media, you’re scared they’re going to say bad things about you and you cave, those voters have no use for you after that.”
Wrapping up, DeSantis said: “So I can only tell you for me, I’m gonna keep walking the line. I am gonna stand my ground. I am not backing down. We’ve accomplished an awful lot in the state of Florida, but I can tell you this: I’ve only begun to fight.”