Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to tiptoe toward the Republican presidential primary race with a visit to Nassau County on Saturday — his second New York City-area appearance in less than six weeks.
“For over four years, we don’t have leaks, we don’t have palace intrigue,” he said of his administration, speaking to about 300 guests in the glass-walled atrium of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.
“We just execute the agenda,” he boasted — in what seemed to be a swipe at former president Donald Trump’s chaotic administration.
About 70 supporters of former president Donald Trump lined the streets outside the venue ahead of DeSantis’ arrival, waving “Trump 2024” signs and American flags.
“What they did to Trump is not right,” said Stan, 64, who said he turned out to the DeSantis event to support the president as his arraignment next week looms.
“If they did it to him, they could do it to anybody.”
“I don’t really care about De Santis,” said Rose Mui, 60.
“I think that [the indictment] is totally fake. They just want to slow [Trump] down.”
Across the street, a group of 15 anti-DeSantis protesters held up signs reading “Say Gay Every Day” — a reference to his parents’-rights initiative that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
DeSantis’ not-yet-a-campaign stop was hosted by And To The Republic, a newly formed conservative nonprofit that has backed a string of his appearances in Iowa, Nevada, Georgia and elsewhere in recent weeks.
Earlier Saturday, he spoke at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Harrisburg, then visited a nearby bookstore to sign copies of his new book, “The Courage to Be Free” — the obligatory campaign tome laying out his agenda, a time-tested necessity for soon-to-be presidential candidates.
DeSantis kicked off his book tour with a Feb. 20 speech in Staten Island, the city’s reddest borough, where he was met with a warm greeting by a crowd that Trump later derided.
“Big buildup, lots of money spent, yet only 139 people showed up for DeSantis in Staten Island,” Trump snarked on Truth Social.
The 44-year-old governor’s popularity among Republicans has soared since November when he was re-elected by a 19-point margin — the biggest win of any Florida leader in decades.
Since then he has raised his profile with a relentless focus on culture-war topics, pushing initiatives that restrict abortion, boost law enforcement, and rein in “woke” school policies — endearing him to the GOP base.
“Our state is where woke goes to die,” DeSantis has frequently said in recent appearances.
Although he is widely expected to enter the GOP primary as Trump’s most formidable rival, he has made no official move to do so — hinting that he will remain focused on Florida until its legislative session ends May 5.
Trump notched a formidable 30-point lead over DeSantis in a national Fox News poll released this week — but recent surveys of early-primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire show the governor ahead or neck-and-neck in those crucial races.
The post Ron DeSantis makes another NY appearance with speech on Long Island appeared first on New York Post.