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At California GOP Event, Scott and DeSantis Make Their Presidential Case in Trump’s Shadow



Rep. Tim Scott, R-SC, works the crowd at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim on Sept. 29, 2023. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Donald Trump is a hard act to follow.

The former president spoke Friday at the California Republican Party convention in Anaheim, more of a version of Donald Trump Live!

Other GOP presidential hopefuls also spoke, in a smaller ballroom at the Anaheim Marriott and provided more traditional speeches. Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, gave a sermon-like address to a few hundred — Trump’s speech drew a sellout 1,500 — hitting on conservative talking points.

Scott started his event stepping off the stage, preaching to the crowd. He talked border security, education and firing President Joe Biden during a chat moderated by party chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson.

“She’s done a terrible job,” Scott said of the job Vice President Kamala Harris work on border security. Scott said he would reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” and Title 42 policies.

The “fireside chat” was supposed to start 3 p.m. on Friday. Perhaps because Trump started late and went long, Scott was delayed too, and his 90 minute window was cut to about 30 minutes.

DeSantis Highlights Policy Successes, Responds to Trump

Later Friday evening, in the same ballroom Scott performed in, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis addressed a larger crowd than Scott.

During Trump’s speech, he knocked DeSantis for taking credit for turning Florida into a red state. Trump said that was his doing.

DeSantis clapped back.

“I just wish if he was the one that turned Florida red, that he wouldn’t have turned Georgia and Arizona blue because that’s not been good for us at all,” DeSantis said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking at the California GOP convention in Anaheim on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (GV Wire/David Taub)

DeSantis gave a traditional campaign speech, contrasting his policy successes in the Sunshine State, against liberal areas, especially California.

“You can just ask the question, how are people actually voting with their feet? Because you can have a corporate media outlet try to trash Florida and try to put lipstick on a pig with regard to California,” DeSantis said of people moving from California to Florida.

DeSantis talked about taking on crime — he said he removed two prosecutors “that got elected with Soros funding,” comparing it to the district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Florida governor said he took on the liberal orthodoxy in education, banning inappropriate books in elementary school, and critical race theory in colleges.

“When the left is bearing down on us, I will stand up. When the most powerful company in the history of Florida is bearing down on us, I will stand up because it is the right thing to do to stand up for the well being of our kids,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis referred to his battles with Disney, and started his Anaheim speech noting the proximity to Disneyland.

Neither DeSantis, Scott, nor Trump, mentioned the passing of Dianne Feinstein, the California Senator who died earlier on Friday.


Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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