VIDEO: Ohioans and Floridians Respond to Florida Governor DeSantis in Ohio

Today, Innovation Ohio and DeSantis Watch held a virtual press conference with Ohio and Florida partners, leaders, and constituents to respond to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ visit to Ohio. Florida leaders were eager to join the conversation to warn Ohioans against their two-term governor’s ambitions to win the support of the Buckeye State.

“We know the extreme policies and agendas that Ron DeSantis represents. We need a champion who will do real work to support Ohio’s families,” said Desiree Tims, President and CEO of Innovation Ohio.

Watch the full press conference.

The Florida governor, and likely Republican presidential candidate, is in Ohio this week to meet with Butler and Summit County Republicans— a seeming prelude to a 2024 campaign for the White House — offering an opportunity for leaders from both states to decry the second-term Florida Governor. DeSantis has begun his early campaign stops and book tour promotion at various states across the Midwest. 

“We are existing in a hellscape right now. The people in Florida feel like we no longer are part of the United States. That our state has been isolated, that we are living in an empire as opposed to a democracy. In the legislative process right now, the Florida legislature has completely rolled over for Governor DeSantis. They are giving him everything he wants and the policy proposals he is pushing are not designed to be real policy at all, they are unenforceable, they are confusing, they are poorly written, they are designed to do two things: 1. Generate headlines, 2. reward those who are bankrolling his campaign. – Dr. Rich Templin, Director of Politics and Public Policy for the Florida AFL-CIO

“Instead of solving real issues impacting our state, Ron DeSantis spends his time attacking our freedoms to advance his own political ambitions for higher office. His assaults on our education system, both in our neighborhood public schools and our institutions of higher learning, limiting our First Amendment right to free speech and taking away parents’ rights to choose an honest history that fully encapsulates the experiences and contributions of Black and LGBTQ+ Americans for their children. This extreme and divisive agenda does nothing to help Floridians suffering under an affordability crisis that the Governor makes worse every day as he does favors for the corporate elites who suppress workers’ wages and drive up our costs. Ohio, you cannot afford what Ron DeSantis is selling.” – Florida State Senator Tracie Davis (unable to attend event).

“Extremist agendas are bad for EVERY state – each and every single day. We cannot allow a failure such as Ron DeSantis to gain any traction to run for higher office, we cannot allow the Ohio Supermajority to continually take a page out of his book – catering to big donors, prioritizing politics over public safety, and putting our children’s lives in danger with their extreme gun violence agendas.” – Ohio Representative Jessica E. Miranda, Ohio Minority Party Whip

“I watched DeSantis strut around limiting the access of AP African American studies for Florida students. These policies do not foster academic freedom or promote rigorous scholarship. So I have to decide if I want to obtain a degree or research area that might be censored or outlawed later down the road, and to be honest, that is not a decision. – Angela Rose Myers Moroles, Florida Resident and Researcher and Social Justice Activist

“Ohio is desperate to attract young people here to work, put down roots, and start a family. DeSantis’s formula of pulling stunts for political gain, dismantling public education, hateful culture-war policies, & a high cost of housing is not a recipe to bring them here. DeSantis has bailed out Florida’s insurance industry to the tune of billions of dollars – and offered billions more in handouts to his big donors – billionaires & corporations – and left Florida taxpayers footing the bill. A President DeSantis doing the same thing to Butler County taxpayers? No thanks. To put it simply, Butler County’s working families cannot afford a Ron DeSantis presidency.” – Kathy Wyenandt, Butler County Democratic Party Chair