By: Sharon Aron Baron
Ron DeSantis made a stop in Coral Springs and was cheered on by hundreds of supporters, but the candidate for Florida governor first had some harsh words against the man who killed eleven Jewish victims in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.
On Sunday, DeSantis acknowledged the atrocity that occurred in Pittsburgh when a gunman with an AR-15 killed eleven victims.
“Before I get started, I want to express how upset I was to see what happened in Pittsburg yesterday,” said DeSantis. “If you are targeting people based on their religion in this country, you deserve swift justice — and that animal deserves the death penalty.”
A supporter of moving the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as funding day schools for Jewish children, DeSantis said if you look at the most recent statistics with the FBI, the majority of racially motivated crimes are directed towards Jews, even though they only represent two percent of the population.
“So the fact is…there is a sick element out there that specifically targets Jews. So I’m looking at how to help security, not just with our schools and our communities. I think you have to take that into account and do what you can to make sure folks in those communities are able to protect themselves.”
He added that it will require the cooperation of the local and state government. “There is no doubt about it, it is a majority [of racially motivated crimes] are directed against Jews. I think that’s terrible —-you have one of these guys that’s an absolute evil man doing something like this – he needs a swift death penalty. I mean, this is what the death penalty is for.”
A former U.S. Representative for Florida’s 6th congressional district. DeSantis, 40, graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School and served as an attorney and as a JAG prosecutor in the Navy. During his active-duty service, DeSantis supported operations at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and was deployed to Iraq as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Fallujah, Ramadi and the rest of Al Anbar province. DeSantis is running on the Republican ticket against Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Introducing him was Andrew Pollack, with an invocation by Rabbi Avraham Friedman with the Chabad of Coral Springs and Parkland resident Ryan Petty leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
He told the audience at the rally that since 2005, Gillum has been a career politician and when he was on the Tallahassee commission, Gillum voted to give himself tens of thousands of dollars in retirement benefits at taxpayer expense.
“Ever since Gillum had been mayor in Tallahassee, it’s been the most crime-ridden city,” said DeSantis adding that last year, Tallahassee had the highest number of murders in the history of the city.
“You don’t have safe communities unless you work at it,” he said.
DeSantis’ supporters were in the hundreds in front of Wings Plus Restaurant where the rallying cry was anti-Gillum and pro-Trump.
DeSantis said the only way Gillum’s proposals would work was to institute a 38 cent tax or a state income tax.
He said that Gillum’s immigration policies were also hostile to law enforcement and that he wanted to abolish ICE, have open borders, and make Florida a sanctuary state.
“Florida will not be a sanctuary state. We will not let that happen, said DeSantis adding, “He hates Trump so much that he’s not willing to cooperate with immigration and customs enforcement with respect to criminal aliens.”