Ten juicy quotes from Republican Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls’ GOP conference speech

by | Sep 17, 2019

Didn’t catch Republican Speaker-designate Chris Sprowl’s speech to his colleagues in the Florida House today?  We’ve got you covered. The overarching theme focused on the differences between two very different worlds – be they the social media sphere vs. the real world, or Washington D.C. vs. Tallahassee. With it, he managed to paint a compelling contrast, while outlining his views on the state of politics today.

Here are the ten juiciest utterances from his speech, on subjects ranging from Twitter to late-term abortion, and from climate change to lawmakers and political grandstanding.

On Twitter and “outrage politics:”

“It’s a world of perpetual grievance.  It’s the world that exists inside our phones and on our screens.  It’s the world of Twitter, Facebook, the 24-hours news cycle, newspaper editorial pages and opinion writers.  It’s the world of political news junkies and social media addicts; a world filled with people mainlining apocalyptic rage.   And like junkies and addicts on a high, they are lost in their own fantasy worlds; trapped inside ideological prisons of their own creation.  A world where they act intolerant in the name of tolerance and promote venom in the name of virtue.  A world where feelings matter more than facts and truth is routinely trampled by self-righteous mobs.  A world with constant interaction that somehow produces feelings of profound isolation and loneliness.” 

On Washington D.C. and national politics:

“Everyone is too busy talking, practicing for a future hosting gig on Fox or MSNBC, to notice as our nation’s capital sinks deeper and deeper into the swamp.”

On Florida’s successes after two decades of Republican leadership:

“In measures of fiscal stability, Florida consistently ranks among the top 3 states.  Our public university system has been ranked #1 for the last 3 years.  Our traditional infrastructure has been ranked as the best in the country.  Our education system has been ranked 4th in the nation for K-12 student achievement.  And while other states are driving away citizens with their tax policies, Florida leads in the nation in domestic migration. You wouldn’t know any of that if you spend your time on social media or reading newspaper editorial pages.” 

On fiscal responsibility in the state legislature:

“…we have a spending problem.  Our budget is growing faster than our reserves.  We start new university construction projects without finishing old ones.  We fund our wants at the expense of our needs.  We turn policy conversations into revenue conversations.  We treat the state budget like it is our own private charitable foundation to be used to buy the naming rights to buildings and programs…We need to increase our reserves and create a new fund for disaster recovery.  There is no excuse not to be prepared for the next storm or the next recession.”

On Florida’s byzantine tax structure:

“We think of Florida as a low tax state and, comparatively speaking, that’s true.  But much of the taxation in our state has been hidden inside taxing districts.   If you laid out on a chart all the state and local taxes, fees, and assessments and all the boards and districts with authority to spend that money, it would produce a web so complicated that you would think we were a Federal government agency.”

On climate alarmism:

“Floridians aren’t interested in the utter nonsense of the Green New Deal.  But they do want good jobs, clean water, and ample, sandy beaches.  They want to know we are working on practical ways to mitigate the risk of flooding in our coastal communities.”

On environmental policy:

“We need to stop being afraid of words like “climate change” and “sea level rise.”  Frankly, we do this too often as conservatives.  We confuse acknowledging a problem with acquiescing to a particular solution.  We can recognize that our environment matters without banning our air conditioners or closing our supermarkets or scrapping our cars.”

On Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and late-term abortions:

“While I don’t think Robert Francis O’Rourke or Mayor Pete have a chance of becoming President, just in case, these advocates for late-term abortions should know that here in the state of Florida, we don’t kill babies.  Life matters.”

On political grandstanding during the legislative session:

“It has infected too many of our colleagues, some of whom have seemingly abandoned any effort to influence legislation, replacing policymaking with pantomime; more concerned with the content of a tweet than the content of a bill.  They treat the Legislature like a debating society; spending hours on the Floor and in committee asking questions they already know the answers to and repeating the same points over and over in debate.  They play to the cameras without grappling with the age-old, existential question – if you give a speech on the Florida Channel and no one is watching, did you actually make a point?”

On the core difference between Republicans and Democrats:

We [Republicans] believe taxes should be low and economic freedom high.  We believe families should be able to make their own choices about their education and health care.  We believe people should be able to find good jobs, live on safe streets, and drink clean water.  We believe society matters more than government.  We believe actions matter more than words.”


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