(As originally published with bells and whistles, Wed, November 16th 2022, 10:26 AM EST)
MATLACHA, Fla. (CBS12) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is awarding money to victims of Hurricane Ian and to three colleges for workforce education, but he ended his remarks with a quick political note.
“Thank you for your support of me last Tuesday night. That was a huge, huge thing,” he said about his reelection at a news conference in Matlacha, Lee County, Wednesday morning.
Then, he took questions and one — from a reporter who did not have a microphone nearby — seemed to deal with former President Donald Trump launching his third campaign for the White House on Tuesday night.
“We just finished this election. People just need to chill out a bit on some of this stuff,” DeSantis, a possible rival 2024 candidate for the Republican nomination, said.
The governor brought up the Dec. 6 runoff election for U.S. Senate in Georgia between Herschel Walker and incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, but said GOP candidates in the midterm election put up a “substandard performance” with one exception.
“Florida was kind of the biggest bright spot. It was not so bright in other parts of the country,” he said.
Then, he suggested a reason, saying, “We led, we delivered, and we had your back when you needed us,” in an area very hard-hit by Hurricane Ian.
DeSantis wasn’t done.
“I think what we showed in Florida, produce results, lead with conviction,” the governor said, pledging to “continue to deliver.”
After that, DeSantis made a comparison.
“You look at all the problems the country is having,” he said, naming inflation and the southern border as issues.
“Florida is an example that you know what, you can get the big things right,” he said, bragging that it just took three days to replace a bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Ian, and that would not have happened in New York.
DeSantis began his remarks by noting what the state accomplished last week, from a state of emergency for Hurricane Nicole, to holding the election, and conducting emergency repairs, “And these other states are still counting their votes from the election. How pathetic is that?!”
The governor was in southwest Florida to announce $1 million from the Florida Disaster Fund for “emergency management personnel, national guardsmen and other community members displaced or negatively impacted” by Hurricane Ian.
He also announced $7.7 million for workforce education and said there would be a special legislative session next month that’ll look at tax relief.
DeSantis spoke in Matlacha six weeks ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, and praised FEMA, along with local and state agencies, saying coordination among them was exceptional.