‘Survival of the American experiment:’ DeSantis speaks at Orlando homeschool convention

Florida governor, who just announced presidential run, also has stops scheduled in key primary states

ORLANDO, Fla.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke Friday at a homeschool convention in Orlando, two days after the announcement of his presidential run.

Calling universities “indoctrination centers,” lauding the restocked New College of Florida, imploring listeners to mistrust the media and supplanting the term “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” with “Discrimination, Exclusion and Indoctrination,” DeSantis now rhymes “survival” with “revival” in some newer messaging for a crowd beyond Florida.

“They (the parents) wonder, ‘If I send my kid to school after 18 years of raising them and putting in our values, is it just going to be undone in some indoctrination center? In some, you know, very left-wing university?’ And unfortunately, too many universities in this country, the norm has been not to be pursuing truth or not to be giving students a foundation so they can think for themselves, but instead in trying to impose ideology, trying to promote conformity of thinking and even trying to foment political activism. This higher education system in Florida is paid for by your tax dollars, they don’t have a right to just do whatever they want,” DeSantis said, addressing the 2023 FPEA Florida Homeschool Convention. “...I believe the survival of the American experiment requires a revival of true American principles. You are part of that revival. You give us hope that our next generation will carry the torch of freedom. You cannot — if you look at the decline in the corruption of education throughout our country, you cannot look at that as any other thing other than posing a mortal threat to the viability of a free society.”

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DeSantis’ national plan for the primaries appears to be in full swing, despite a glitch in his campaign announcement, with stops already scheduled early in three key states.

Before hitting the campaign trail, DeSantis hit the radio circuit Thursday.

In the interviews, he hit on key topics, including border security and the economy, that he hopes will send him to the White House.

The governor met with donors in Miami this week, looking to build his war chest before hitting the three key primary states.

He is set to kick off his campaign with a stop in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, followed by a number of stops Wednesday in the state, including in cities such as Sioux City and Cedar Rapids.


On Thursday, DeSantis is expected to have four stops in New Hampshire and will end the week in South Carolina.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, DeSantis is trailing Donald Trump by more than 30% in the GOP primary race.

Dozens of Florida lawmakers have already endorsed the governor, but it’s not known if federal lawmakers will follow suit.

“Well, there’s gonna be a lot of people getting into the race. I know probably everybody so far,” Republican Sen. Rick Scott said at a hurricane preparedness event Thursday in Kissimmee.

He went on to say that he has colleagues with whom he’s serving in the Senate who will be entering the race, and that Trump is already in the race.

Scott told News 6 that he plans to focus on his race, and ended by saying, “I’m gonna support the Republican nominee.”

Watch Friday’s speech in the video player below:

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About the Authors:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.