NEWS AND OPINION:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is embracing voters of faith in no uncertain terms. The Republican presidential hopeful launched his own national Faith and Family Coalition in September, which includes in its public outreach the motto ‘God Above Government.”
The idea and the outreach appear to be effective. The candidate now states that over 100 pastors and religious leaders in Iowa have stepped forward to support him.
“Support for DeSantis within the faith community has grown because of his unwavering commitment to standing for life, religious liberties, and family values,” his campaign said in a statement released Sunday.
Indeed, Mr. DeSantis is campaigning in Iowa accompanied by family members. Their itinerary has included stops at many churches.
“I have thought and prayed about who is the right person to lead our country and believe fully that the right person is Ron DeSantis. He is an ally to the faith community here in Iowa, will stand firm for the truth, and I know that as president, his faith will continue to be his anchor. I am proud to join his Faith & Family Coalition and look forward to caucusing for him in January,” Darran Whiting, pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Linn County, said in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway by the DeSantis campaign.
“Ron DeSantis is the right man for this moment to lead America’s revival, and I am pleased to give him my full support. Our nation needs a leader who will stand firm in his principles and put God above government. Ron DeSantis’ bold record as governor of Florida proves he will never waver in the fight for what’s right,” Earl Beal, pastor at Joy Baptist Church in Lee County, said in the same campaign release.
DESANTIS TO TAKE ON NEWSOM
Meanwhile, politics can inspire creative programming.
Such is the case with Fox News, which has revealed that prime-time host Sean Hannity will present an exclusive televised debate between Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The big date is Nov. 30, the place will be Alpharetta, Georgia. And the network has given the 90-minute live event a snappy title too: “DeSantis vs. Newsom: The Great Red vs. Blue State Debate.”
The event will be presented on Fox News from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern time as part of a two-hour edition of “Hannity” and will be simulcast on Fox News Radio.
“Focusing on the major issues impacting the country, the debate will examine the vastly different approaches the two governors have and offer insights into their political philosophies as well as their ambitions for the nation,” Fox News said in a written statement shared with Inside the Beltway.
“Throughout the debate, Sean Hannity will highlight a variety of issues in each state, including the economy, the border, immigration, crime, and inflation. Presented without an audience, the governors will have equal opportunity to respond and address each issue,” the network said.
HOW FREE IS YOUR STATE?
So how “free” is the state you live in? The Cato Institute has the answer, perhaps.
The scholarly, libertarian-leaning policy organization has just released “Freedom in the 50 States: An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom” — which examines the freedom quotient in every state.
“This study ranks the American states according to how their public policies affect individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres. The 2023 edition updates and expands on the six previous editions of Freedom in the 50 States. It examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of policy categories — from taxation to debt, from…