Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted his state’s continued population growth as a sign of people fleeing states that are governed by “leftists,” like California.
“Over the last four years, we’ve witnessed a great American exodus from states governed by leftist politicians imposing leftist ideologies and delivering poor results,” DeSantis said in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California on Sunday. “And you can see massive gains in states like Florida, who are governing according to the tried and true principles that President Reagan held dear.”
While speaking before his audience in California, DeSantis repeatedly compared the west coast state to Florida. DeSantis said until recently, many people moved to California, but “now you see the state hemorrhaging population.”
According to recent census data, Florida became the fastest-growing state in the United States last year, notching a 1.9 percent population increase between 2021 and 2022. Florida also ranked second for sheer numeric increase in population last year. By comparison, census data indicated California ranked second overall for numeric population decline, losing about 113,649 residents. California was 10th overall for percentage population decrease last year, losing 0.3 percent of its population.
“We’ve seen people move from the West Coast, not just California, but Oregon and Washington State, in numbers like we’ve never seen,” DeSantis said. “This is a result of better governance in States like Florida, it is a result of poor governance in these left-wing states—that’s why people are moving.”
DeSantis has directly traded barbs with Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom in recent months. Last summer, Newsom called on Floridians to move to California, and called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate DeSantis for flying asylum applicants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Newsom also donated $100,000 to DeSantis’ Democratic gubernatorial opponent in the 2022 election.
“I knew you guys got a lot of problems out here but your Governor is very concerned about what we’re doing in Florida so I figured I had to come by,” DeSantis said during his speech on Sunday.
Newswom took a crack at DeSantis as his Republican Florida rival arrived in California last week.
By Ryan Morgan