Ron DeSantis is going national with a visit to Staten Island Monday morning for a breakfast with law enforcement as he kicks off his Law and Order tour.
The Florida governor's swing through the north is fueling speculation that he is inching closer to announcing a bid for president in 2024. His trip will also feature stops in Philadelphia and Chicago.
Some local reporters say DeSantis should expect to be met with protesters who are particularly peeved at the governor's plan to send migrants to Democratic bastions like New York and other northeast cities.
During the breakfast and pro-law enforcement rally at Privé catering hall on the South Shore of Staten Island, DeSantis began his remarks by claiming that leaders in cities like New York are 'putting woke ideology ahead of your safety.'
He also accused Democratic politicians of trying to 'out-woke one another' in order to win a primary in left-leaning enclaves like New York and going on to win primaries because of the extreme political imbalance in these areas.
The visit coincides with the President's Day holiday and comes as former President Donald Trump continues to launch attacks against DeSantis, who is quickly emerging as the most likely to be able to take down the former president in a primary.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis kicked off his multi-city Law and Order tour with a stop in Staten Island on Monday to speak with law enforcement and supporters
DeSantis participated in a police breakfast at Privé catering hall (pictured) in Staten Island – the most red borough of New York City
Staten Island is New York's most red borough and the only one that voted for Trump both in 2016 and 2020. In the 2020 election, 57 percent of Staten Island cast their ballot for Trump's reelection.
The trip on Monday will test DeSantis' chances among some of Trump's strongest backers in his former home city.
The Florida governor's President's Day speech kicks off his multi-city tour touting his pro-cop, law and order style of governing.
Republican member of the New York City Council Joe Borelli speculated the trip is a 'sign' that DeSantis is entering the race – even suggesting he could announce his bid.
'Staten Island was the HQ of the GOP's first presidential campaign in 1856 for John Fremont. Maybe it's a sign,' Borelli wrote. Fremont did not go on to become president.
Trump has relentlessly attacked DeSantis by sending nearly daily insults toward the Florida governor before he has even announced a presidential run.
The latest came late Sunday when Trump posted about a new poll showing support waning for DeSantis in a head-to-head with the former president and utilizing his often-used moniker for the governor – 'DeSanctimonious'.
DeSantis began his remarks by claiming that leaders in cities like New York are 'putting woke ideology ahead of your safety'
The tour is fueling the speculation that DeSantis will soon launch a presidential GOP primary bid against former President Donald Trump in 2024
'Of course it [support] cools,' Trump said. 'He wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, loves 'Throw them over the cliff' Paul Ryan, who is destroying FoxNews and the WSJ, Piglet Karl Rove, and 'Jeb.' Also, Ron DeSanctimonious is for Globalist Club For NO Growth, and Open Borders Charles Koch. We want AMERICA FIRST, NOT AMERICA LAST!!!'
Just before midnight on Saturday, the former president also accused DeSantis of being a 'RINO in disguise.'
The post on Trump's social media website Truth Social came nearly 24 hours after he promised not to fat shame DeSantis following reports that he privately referred to the GOP governor as 'Meatball Ron.'
The flood gates opened against DeSantis when Trump hit the campaign trail late last month. He told reporters on his plane between events in New Hampshire and South Carolina that it would be very 'disloyal' if DeSantis launched a 2024 primary bid against him.
DeSantis earned his first term as Florida governor by partially riding on the coattails of Trump's endorsement in 2018.
Trump now lives in DeSantis' state full-time at his residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
So far, Trump and his former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley are the only two major Republicans to launch an official bid for the White House in 2024. But at least a few dozen others are considering or rumored to be weighing a run, including former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
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