Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) spoke at Liberty University’s twice-weekly convocation service Friday.
While DeSantis used a great deal of his time on stage recounting his impressive record in the Sunshine State, the governor failed to mention a few talking points many people expected him to discuss.
DeSantis shied away from discussing former President Trump’s indictment. He also did not give the audience any hints about whether or not he would enter the 2024 presidential race.
Notably, the governor also did not spend much time discussing Florida’s 6-week abortion ban he signed into law the day before.
Nevertheless, DeSantis received a warm welcome from the roughly 10,000 college students in attendance.
After being introduced by Pastor Jonathan Falwell, the son of the school’s founder Jerry Falwell Sr., most of the students in the room left their seats and granted DeSantis sustained applause.
The governor began his speech by thanking those in the audience who prayed for his wife, Casey DeSantis, during her recent battle with breast cancer.
“Hello, Liberty University. I bring greetings from the free state of Florida. And just as a matter of personal privilege would like to thank so many of you for thinking and praying about my family when my wife Casey, Florida’s first lady, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021.” DeSantis began. “I can tell you right now she’s never been healthier, never been better. The prayers have been answered.”
The governor attacked the “woke mob” during his speech and told the students that true leadership means doing what is right in the face of criticism.
“We chose facts over fear, we chose education over indoctrination, we chose law and order over rioting and disorder,” Florida’s 46th governor said proudly. “We did not back down.”
Liberty University has served as an important stop on the campaign trail for Republican presidential hopefuls. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) used Liberty’s convocation stage to announce his presidential bid in 2015.
Additionally, Trump headlined the evangelical Christian school’s commencement ceremony in 2017.
Despite not yet announcing his own presidential bid, the governor seems to be on the campaign trail. He gave a speech in Ohio, a vital state for presidential hopefuls, the day before making his way to Lynchburg, Virginia for convocation.
While DeSantis is a front-runner for the GOP nomination, the governor has faced some criticism for spending so much time outside of his own state while many Florida residents are dealing with record-breaking flooding.
“Ron DeSantis, catching a lot of fire,” national radio host Todd Starnes said on the “Todd Starnes Show” Friday. “Instead of being down in Florida dealing with these huge floods, catastrophic floods in Ft. Lauderdale, he’s been out on the campaign trail, but it’s really not the campaign trail, because he actually hasn’t formally announced he’s running.”
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