Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ channeled former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at an Iowa campaign even this weekend, invoking Churchill’s famous World War II speech to tout his own position on “woke” ideology.
DeSantis said in his speech on Saturday: “I recognize that the woke mind virus represents a war on the truth, so we will wage a war on the woke. We will fight the woke in education, we will fight the woke in the corporations, we will fight the woke in the halls of Congress.”
—Acyn (@Acyn) June 3, 2023
The syntax of the sentence was reminiscent of Churchill’s iconic 1940 speech, when he spoke to the UK House of Commons to boost British morale after the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk.
Churchill said in his speech: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
The Iowa speech drew flak from DeSantis critics, who argued that the governor’s political position is a far cry from Churchill’s.
Richard Stengel, a former under secretary of state under Barack Obama’s administration, tweeted: “Churchill was fighting Nazism, an enemy bent on world domination, while DeSantis is fighting, well, empathy and compassion. Not the same.”
—Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) June 2, 2023
DeSantis channeling Churchill comes just days after former President Donald Trump accused the governor of copying his campaign message, “Great American Comeback,” from his 2020 State of the Union address.
DeSantis used the phrase when he announced his presidential run on Twitter Spaces on May 24, where he said: “I’m Ron DeSantis, and I’m running to lead the Great American Comeback.” It was also the title of his first official campaign video on Twitter.
However, Trump himself has invoked the same Churchill speech. In July 2021, Trump sent an email to his followers raging about his lawsuits against tech companies like Facebook and Twitter. It included the line: “We’ll fight in the courts, we’ll fight in the legislatures, and we’ll fight at the ballot boxes.”
DeSantis’ representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment sent outside regular business hours.
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