Who is Ron DeSantis?
His campaign hopes Americans will try to answer this question by looking at a few curated interviews with friendly news outlets, a heavily produced campaign video, and perhaps a glance at the glossy book pitched and edited by consultants.
Welcome to American Bridge 21st Century's Ron DeSantis opposition research hub. This website exists to help anyone understand the reality his career, his tenure as Florida Governor, and his record on issues that matter to Americans.
So, who is Ron DeSantis? He's a failed governor. He's a threat to Social Security and Medicare. He's a corrupt and authoritarian career politician, and he's a policy extremist who's out of touch with the voters on every issue.
Ron DeSantis' justification for running for president is what he calls the Florida Blueprint. But facing crisis after crisis in the state, DeSantis failed to rise to the occasion, and the results speak for themselves:
Read The Reports:
- In Metric After Metric, DeSantis' Florida Fell Behind The Nation Numbers don't lie. Under DeSantis, Florida was one of the worst states in the nation for child health care access, and had some of the highest health insurance premiums in the nation. 20% of Floridians lacked health insurance entirely -- more than almost any other state. School quality declined, and Florida became the least affordable state to live in in the country. Water quality also declined, while electricity prices went up.
- Florida's Education System Is Straining From Resource Constraints And Culture War Stunts Teacher pay in Florida under DeSantis was the 4th lowest in the nation, while the state led nearly every other in the number of books banned. The state faced a massive teacher shortage under his leadership, while he pushed to divert funds away from public schools and into private schools.
- Florida Housing Is Unaffordable For Regular People As Florida became the least affordable state in the country to live, DeSantis went to war against housing affordability measures.
- Florida's Property Insurance Costs Are The Highest In The Nation Under Ron DeSantis, Floridians have been crushed by property insurance costs -- facing the highest rates in the nation. DeSantis' solution? Bail out the insurance industry and shield insurers from lawsuits, while homeowners continue to struggle.
- Ron DeSantis Ignored Warnings, Then Presided Over The Collapse Of Florida's Unemployment Insurance System Despite warnings about the system's fragility, Ron DeSantis failed to address the state’s unemployment system before the pandemic. When the crisis hit, it was Floridians who paid the price, unable to access earned benefits -- or even get their phone calls answered by DeSantis' bureaucracy.
- Ron DeSantis Record On Hurricanes Shows He Can't Be Trusted In A Crisis As an armchair politician in Washington, DC, Ron DeSantis fought to delay and play partisan games with emergegency disaster funding. And when he was called to provide leadership in the face of disaster himself, he dropped the ball, delaying needed evacutations and even running campaign ads during the crisis.
- Disastrous Record On COVID-19 After he initially supported lockdowns, Ron DeSantis played politics with Floridians' lives throughout the pandemic. The result has been a disasterous number of deaths and an unnecessary number of COVID cases.
- Reference Report: Legislative Record As Governor What bills has DeSantis signed into law as governor, and what's in them? Read more here.
- Ron DeSantis’ Record Does Not Match His Rhetoric On Law Enforcement In Florida Ron DeSantis claims strong support for law enforcement in Florida. However, the state's law enforcement budget has declined under his leadership. Despite emphasizing law and order, DeSantis vetoed $12 million in local law enforcement grants.
¶ Ron DeSantis Is A Threat To Social Security And Medicare
Ron DeSantis' record on Social Security and Medicare is dangerous.
Read The Report:
- Ron DeSantis Represents An Imminent Threat To Social Security And Medicare Ron DeSantis has specifically committed to restructuring vital earned benefits for retirees, and his votes match his rhetoric: He voted three times to raise Social Security's retirement age, and he voted to slash cost of living adjustments for recipients. He voted six times to turn Medicare into a voucher system, six times to raise the elegibility age, and twice to cut funding for Medicare.
¶ Ron DeSantis Is A Bumbling, Corrupt, And Authoritarian Politician
Ron DeSantis wields the power of the state for his own benefit, not the benefit of the people who put him in office. Nevertheless, he constantly makes amateur mistakes and fails to understand even the basics of American foreign policy.
Read The Reports:
- Ron DeSantis Is Strange And Not Well-Liked Ron DeSantis has been called a bully, boring, awkward, standoffish, and a messy eater, among other things.
- Ron DeSantis Showered Special Access, Public Jobs, And More On His Big Donors Ron DeSantis appointed 75% more donors to public jobs than his predecessor. His donors got public contracts, favors, and exclusive access to the Governor not available to regular Floridians.
- Ron DeSantis Is A Threat To Free And Fair Elections In The United States Ron DeSantis supported Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. He downplayed Trump's January 6th insurrection and refused to say that Joe Biden was a legitimate president. He associates with prominent election deniers, all the while embracing legislation to make it harder for people to vote.
- Ron DeSantis Sought To Make An Example Of Disney To Ensure Corporate Compliance With His Culture War Agenda Ron DeSantis had a history of doling out favors to the Walt Disney Corporation, but after the company spoke out against DeSantis' anti-LGBTQ law, the governor retaliated.
- Ron DeSantis And His PAC Have Taken Political Donations From Political Extremists And Individuals Connected To Crimes Ron DeSantis' PAC received donations from a series of controversial figures, including individuals linked to right-wing media, racial slurs, mafia allegations, sexual misconduct, misleading health claims, and potential pyramid schemes.
- Ron DeSantis Has Skirted Around Election Laws For Self-Promotion And National Branding DeSantis's utilization of an official government event for campaign promotion and incorporation of the nonpolitical American Legion's imagery in his campaign ad have sparked controversy and raised concerns about a potential blurring of lines between public duty and campaign activities.
- Ron DeSantis Has Been Tight With Extremists DeSantis' 2023 inaugural ball drew controversy due to attendees with criminal backgrounds, extremist ties, and connections to the Capitol riot.
Ron DeSantis has constantly positioned himself with the most extreme members of his party.
Read The Reports:
- Abortion Ron DeSantis' record of supporting abortion bans, efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and restrictions on medication abortion.
- Banking Ron DeSantis repeatedly sided with big banks at the expense of working people.
- Defended Racist Language Ron DeSantis stood by Joe Rogan amid racial controversy.
- Environment Ron DeSantis was a climate change denier and supported policies to hurt our environment.
- Guns Ron DeSantis' anti-gun safety record.
- Health Care Ron DeSantis refused to expand and protect access to health care.
- 🛂 Immigration Ron DeSantis signed anti-immigration bills, opposed pathways to citizenship, and restricted DACA protections.
- LGBTQ Ron DeSantis has spent his political career attacking the LGBTQ community.
- Taxes Ron DeSantis supported the FairTax Act in each of his three terms in Congress. The legislation would serve as a tax cut for the wealthy while raising taxes on average Americans.
- Trade, Tariffs, and China Ron DeSantis' trade policies sold out Americans.
- Unions Ron DeSantis has repeatedly attacked unions.
- Veterans Ron DeSantis has voted repeatedly to cut key programs for veterans.
- Water Quality Ron DeSantis opposes clean water protections.