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.
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.
Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the California GOP Fall Summit https://t.co/JSktthtkXZ
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) September 30, 2023