What happened: On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke to some of the biggest police unions in the country in New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, where he slammed liberal “soft-on-crime” policies while promoting his vision of conservative governance. Throughout each visit, DeSantis’s demeanor echoed that of former President Donald Trump when he first ran for president in 2016, as the Florida governor sought to capture the “back-the-blue” base, which overwhelmingly backed Trump then.
DeSantis goes national: Although DeSantis has not officially announced his candidacy for president, he focused on national topics throughout his talks. In each visit—backed by an organization dedicated to “helping DeSantis go national”—the governor highlighted how his approach to supporting law enforcement has delivered results for Florida, with crime rates reaching a 50-year low. DeSantis went so far as to slam President Joe Biden for being very concerned about Ukraine’s borders “halfway around the world,” neglecting the American southern border crisis.
2024 in action: While DeSantis was holding events in three key states, former President Trump was also honing in on the law enforcement community. In South Carolina, Trump unveiled his new seven-point crime plan, expanding his “tough-on-crime” vision to combat that of his emerging conservative rival. Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence—who has teased a 2024 run— will also be hitting law enforcement issues in South Carolina next week.