Ron DeSantis Talks Sports, SEC Football, State Of Florida’s Recent Success With Clay and Buck

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has had an uninterrupted run of wins over the past few years.

His defense of freedom, individual liberty and commitment to following science on COVID policies made Florida a refuge for people fleeing lockdown states like California and New York.


Beyond the political wins, however, DeSantis was one of the few politicians concerned with protecting sports during the pandemic.

He joined the Clay and Buck radio show, and discussed how he helped ensure the 2020 college football season was played, among many other accomplishments.

Apparently, the SEC had been considering following the Big Ten and Pac-12 into cancelling their schedule in fall 2020. But DeSantis stepped in to ensure that wouldn’t happen.

“And I’ll tell you, you remember when the Big Ten and the Pac-12 cancelled season in the summer of 2020,” he said. “The SEC was moving in that direction, and I was working behind the scenes and I said, ‘The University of Florida is not going to be party to canceling the college football season,’ and so we got Florida right and we made sure the ACC schools were in line, and they wanted to be Florida State in Miami, and so when the SEC and the ACC said, ‘No, no, no, we’re playing,’ and then they start doing it. That put huge pressure on the Big Ten to reverse. And they had to, and it was really embarrassing what ended up happening with them. Same thing with our high school season.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
GENEVA, UNITED STATES – 2022/08/24: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to supporters at a campaign stop on the Keep Florida Free Tour at the Horsepower Ranch in Geneva. DeSantis faces former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for the general election for Florida Governor in November. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Florida Thriving Under DeSantis

DeSantis also explained that under his leadership, Florida has attracted huge numbers of residents, visitors, and is enjoying an economic boom.

“We’re the nation’s fastest growing state. We’ve led the nation in net in-migration every year that I’ve been governor,” he explained. “We’re number one in economic freedom and education freedom. We have one of the lowest per capita state tax burdens in America, one of the lowest per capita state debt burdens in America, and we have the largest budget surplus in the history of the state of Florida.”

Part of the reason for this unbridled success was his quick realization that COVID policies promoted by government agencies and “experts” were completely ineffective. That meant he kept Florida’s industries open and thriving, while tourism surged as people fled seemingly endless restrictions.

DeSantis discussed how these agencies revealed their own political motivations during the pandemic, and what that should mean going forward.

“I mean, these are failed agencies when you talk about things like the CDC and the FDA, and also some of the people in these medical societies that really pursued politics and ideology rather than following the data,” he said. “And, look, I don’t know if it’s just some people will never admit that they were wrong because they think that that’s bad for them. But like for you to say certain things in March of 2020 when we didn’t have all the data in, you know, you can kind of understand and give someone a mulligan, but once the data is in and you continue to keep your head in the sand and advocate for destructive policies, you should not be in a position of leadership ever again.”

Comparisons to California

Many have compared Florida to California, especially Governor Gavin Newsom, whose mismanagement and pandemic policies led to a mass migration out of the state.

DeSantis believes that Florida’s benefitted by following the Constitution and protecting freedom, compared to California’s restrictive mindset.

“And I think everything we’ve done in Florida grows out of the basic foundations that have made America what it is today that the founding fathers talked about that are reflected in our Constitution,’ he stated. “And that in of itself is much different than what you would see in a state like California, where they go a much different way.”

As a result, California’s struggling financially and otherwise, as DeSantis explained.

“[California is] now is a state that’s hemorrhaging people at record numbers, and while Florida is enjoying its biggest ever budget surplus, California is facing close to a $30 billion budget deficit.”

There may be no better vindication of the Florida/DeSantis model than the comparisons to California. California should have every advantage over the Sunshine State. It has an outstanding climate, well-established, high-paying industries.

There’s a tremendous amount of wealth, a prior culture of innovation, and globally important cities up and down the coast.

Yet Florida has become the future, while California rapidly fades by virtually every measure. Crime has become a major issue as woke politics in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles has dramatically harmed quality of life.

Cost of living has skyrocketed thanks to excessive income taxes, California specific gas taxes, and extremely restrictive home building policies.

Even with those extremely costly measures, the state has done an extremely poor job on infrastructure, with a disastrously subpar education system more committed to promoting ideology than educating students.

Meanwhile, Florida’s taken the opposite path, and been hugely successful.

The continuous wins by the DeSantis administration have led to speculation that he might run for president in 2024.

When asked about it, DeSantis hinted at return to the Clay and Buck show if such a decision materializes.

“Maybe I’ll come on your show if I have if I have an announcement to make,” he said.

Let’s hope that comes sooner rather than later. The country as a whole could stand to be a whole lot more like Florida.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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