Florida Republicans lambast Biden’s Sunshine State visit

by | Apr 24, 2024

During his visit to Tampa, President Joe Biden faced criticisms from Florida’s top Republican leaders, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, who criticized his policies and campaign focus on reproductive rights ahead of the upcoming elections.

President Joe Biden’s visit to Tampa on Tuesday has drawn sharp rebukes from top Republican leaders in the state as the president campaigned on reproductive rights and other national issues ahead of the November elections.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other GOP figures voiced strong opposition in the hours before the President’s appearance, criticizing Biden’s policies and his support for a constitutional amendment on abortion. The Florida governor took aim at Biden on Tuesday morning, suggesting that the president’s policies have harmed American families.

“I hear that Joe Biden is on his way to Florida. All I can say is that this is a guy who has intentionally opened the borders of this country and caused great harm,” DeSantis said. He also attacked Biden’s backing of a proposed amendment that would guarantee abortion access up until the point of fetal viability, claiming it is out of touch with Florida voters. “Floridians are not buying what Joe Biden is selling and in November we’re going to play an instrumental role in sending him back to Delaware where he belongs,” DeSantis said.

The ballot initiative, which Biden’s visit was largely predicated upon, seeks to establish the right to abortion in Florida up until the point of fetal viability — estimated at around 24 weeks. Current state law prohibits most abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy.

“No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider,” reads the ballot initiative’s summary.

The Florida GOP highlighted that the state has nearly 1 million more registered Republicans than Democrats, suggesting that Biden should instead be on a “listen and learn mission” in Florida. The party statement emphasized that Floridians “prioritize parental rights, individual liberty, and school choice,” contrasting these values against Biden’s policies which they contended promote open borders and economic hardship.

“Welcome to Florida, home to nearly 1 million more registered Republicans than Florida Democrats!” The Party said in a prepared statement. “President Biden should be on a listen and learn mission to Florida where he will discover we believe in parental rights, individual liberty, and school choice! Floridians reject dangerous open borders and reckless inflationary policies that hurt our families and communities.”

Other GOP leaders echoed this sentiment. Florida GOP Chairman Evan Power asserted that Biden’s policies on immigration, the economy, and inflation have not resonated well with Floridian concerns, while Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody urged the media to question Biden about his immigration policies, which she claims have allowed criminals to enter the state.

“Floridians top issues are immigration, the economy, and inflation, in all three areas Joe Biden has failed. Instead of coming to talk to Floridians about manufactured issues, he should get to work solving the real issues that he has failed to lead on. We also welcome him to learn from the successes that has made Florida a beacon of freedom for the rest of the Country” said Power, while Moody pleaded for state media to “not let Joe Biden leave Tampa until you have asked him why he has flown the vast majority of aliens within his illegal direct flight program into Florida and why he keeps doing that despite unvetted criminals committing murders and rapes.”

Skylar Zander, State Director of Americans For Prosperity – Florida criticized the economic fallout of what he termed ‘Bidenomics,’ stating it has led to doubled interest rates and financial strain for residents across Tampa and Florida.

“Amid rising inflation and gas prices in Tampa and all of Florida, AFP-FL would like to see President Biden address his poor economic approach and the adverse effects of his ‘Bidenomics’ economic policies on both the city and the state,” Zander said. “These policies have led to doubled interest rates and inflicted significant financial strain on Tampa residents. No American family should face the dilemma of choosing between putting food on the table, cooling their home, or obtaining essential medication for their loved ones. The enduring consequences of the government’s excessive spending have cast a shadow over the financial well-being of Tampa, Florida, and America for years to come.”

Despite the criticism, Biden defended his record during his visit. Speaking at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, he linked Florida’s six-week abortion ban to former President Donald Trump and predicted that voters would oppose it. Biden emphasized that states across the U.S. have seen voters come out in record numbers to protect reproductive rights since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision.


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