SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed hundreds in Spartanburg amid speculation he is preparing to run for president. The event was held at First Baptist North Spartanburg. It was his third stop in South Carolina Wednesday after visiting North Charleston and Summerville.
DeSantis discussed, what he calls, his “Florida Blueprint.”
“Conservative policies are what the average person wants to see — not just in Florida and South Carolina but I think all across these United States,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis did not say if he plans to run for president. However, he said “freedom is on the line” and there is “a lot of work to do in the country.”
He touched on various topics, including immigration, saying a border wall needs to be completed. He also touted his economic and coronavirus policies.
“We made the decisions to make sure things were open and to protect our elderly,” DeSantis explained. “The result is we’ve never had a better economic performance in the state of Florida than we are having right now.”
Patricia Rush suggested DeSantis may be what the country needs.
“I think maybe it’s time in every county and state to stop arguing, especially for the Republicans to find some way to join together,” Rush said.
The line to enter Wednesday’s event was hundreds of people deep. Ryan Childers was one of the first to line up.
“My mind’s not made up yet, but I think he deserves to be heard,” Ryan Childers said. “I think some of what he’s done in Florida would be really good for our country.”
For some, the 2024 election will be the first time they get to cast a ballot for president.
“I’ve always liked politics, but I’ve never actually gotten to vote,” Riley Barfield said. “I’m really excited to do that for the first time.”
“I thought it would be cool to see a Republican candidate like this,” William Childers added.
Ryan Childers said he thinks a presidential announcement from DeSantis may be on the horizon.
“South Carolina is an early voting state,” he said. “I think it’s another signal that he’s going to be announcing soon.”
The Spartanburg County Democratic Party released a statement ahead of DeSantis’ visit:
It’s disappointing but not surprising that Senators Josh Kimbrell and Danny Verdin would invite DeSantis to Spartanburg — they’re all pushing the same extreme vision of criminalizing abortion, making health care less affordable, and putting the gun lobby ahead of the safety of our children. But make no mistake, the majority of community members in Spartanburg County and across our state DO NOT want a Florida Blue Print in South Carolina…there is simply no place for hate here.Kathryn Harvey, Chair of the Spartanburg County Democratic Party