(CNSNews.com) - "Let me welcome you to the freest state in these United States," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told an appreciative audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
He noted that Florida is a magnet for tourists, including "a number of lockdown politicians" and "big TV hosts."
"They criticize Florida, and the first chance they get, what do they do? They escape to freedom in the State of Florida. And why do even these biggest critics and lockdowners come to Florida? well, I think it's simple.
“From the very beginning, we refused to let this state descend into some type of Faucian dystopia, where people's freedom is curtailed and their livelihoods are destroyed. We protected people's rights, we protected people's jobs, and we protected small businesses.
“And we made sure that every kid in the State of Florida had an opportunity to go to school, in person, five days a week.
“In Florida, we reject the biomedical security state, which erodes liberty, harms livelihoods, and divides our society..."
DeSantis criticized the governors who deferred to health bureaucrats because it was the "safe thing to do politically."
"I really believe, had Florida not led the way, this country could look like Canada or Australia. We sometimes take freedom for granted. You should not do that after the last two years."
DeSantis urged Americans to "fight back on all fronts" against the left -- and he mentioned President Joe Biden by name. "He doesn't like Florida, and he doesn't like me because we stand up to him."
DeSantis called out Biden's "reckless" policies, from vaccine mandates, to the overrun border, to his soft-on-crime approach, and inflation running at a 40-year high.
"We're not going to let anyone forget that," he said.
DeSantis concluded his speech with a call for courage: "Having the courage to stand up against things like cancel culture, having the courage to reject corporate media narratives, having the courage to take on institutions like Big Tech; having the courage to stand in the way of the Brandon administration.
"So we have an opportunity to make 2022 the year that America fought back. We're going to lead the charge here in Florida, but we need people all over the country to be willing to put on that full armor of God to stand firm against the left's schemes. You'll be met with flaming arrows, but the shield of faith will stop them..."