Ron DeSantis: How COURAGE made Florida America's red state

When Ron DeSantis came into office in 2018, people advised him to ‘not make waves.’ But ‘I rejected that advice,’ Governor DeSantis tells Glenn. And because he decided to unwaveringly stand for the freedom of his people, DeSantis successfully transformed Florida from a swing state in ‘the leading red state in America.’ Governor DeSantis joins Glenn to discuss how he found the courage to take the actions necessary to do just that.


Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Hello, governor. How are you, sir?

RON: I'm doing great, thanks for having me.

GLENN: How is your wife and children?

RON: Excellent. Thanks for asking.

GLENN: Good. Good.

All right. I want to talk to you a little bit about your book. Which is not really kind of angst-driven. It's not personal reflections on your childhood, and, oh, my gosh, I had this.

This is really just about the blueprint, and how you did the things that you did. Correct?

RON: Yeah. I mean, look, Glenn, I came into office in 2018, having won by 32,000 votes. Pass a percentage point. And people told me, hey. You're in the typical -- the perennial swing state, you barely got in. Don't make waves.

Trim your sails a little bit. And I rejected that advice.

And my view was, I may have gotten 50 percent of the vote, but I earned 100 percent of the executive power. And I am going to use that, to advance an agenda that's in the best interest in the state of Florida.

And I talk about how I did in different ways. But the end result was, four years later, I won reelection by 1.5 million votes.

And we've now turned Florida, into really the leading red state in America.


RON: And people don't talk about Florida as a swing state. So the lesson for other governors, other states is boldness is your friend.

If you lead, and you're doing what the people want you to do. It doesn't matter what the media says about you. It doesn't matter what the left says about you. People see the result. And they respond.

It wasn't just Republicans that voted for us in 2022. We had independents, Democrats, and built a huge coalition. I think that's replicable in these other states.

GLENN: Well, I personally, I have one complaint with you, and that is you have wrecked the home prices in Florida for everybody who is outside trying to buy one.

So, anyway, the -- when you say, you know, I have institutional power. I have power of -- of the CEO, if you will, of the state.

But the thing I like about you.

And I would like you to talk about it. I know you talk about it in the book.

You're not being a dictator. You're getting these things passed. So you're changing laws. How did you get the -- the House and the Senate to work with you, instead of just being a cowboy just blazing a trail and no followers?

RON: Well, I point out. I get into office. I'm the youngest governor in the country, 40 years old. I had military background.

But I was a junior officer. It's not like I commanded a lot of things, but I learned from that structure. You know, I was never like a business executive. But I think what I brought to the table, was I had an understanding of the pressure points in a constitutional system. It's just things I had studied, I had written about. And, of course, I had been in the legislative branch, at the federal level.

So I knew there were certain things I could do myself. I knew there were certain things that I may need the legislative concurrence for, but they likely would have to give it, based on what I was doing.

Then there were things I had to get the legislature to really get my team for.

Also, how do you relate to local government?

One of the first things I did in Florida, when I became governor was change the election supervisors in South Florida, got rid of the sheriff of Broward County, who bungled the Parkland. And then later I fired George Soros back -- prosecutor in Tampa. And so you have a sense of kind of where you can go.

So there are things you can do to leverage your institutional power, to make it easier to be able to work for the legislators.

Just, for example, we in Florida have a line item detail. President of the United States does not have that.

We're in a legislative session. These guys may have some projects, they want in the budget. Well, look, I have discretion whether I approve or veto them, and you're much more likely to get your projects approved, if you've been on the team and you're helping us fulfill our agenda.

So that's just one example where you have some ability to shape the battlefield in your favor.

GLENN: Your book is called the courage to be free. And I remember when you started walking out on COVID. That had to be terrifying. And everybody had to be around you, going. Don't do it. You don't know how this will work out.

Bought you did it. Where does the courage come from?

And how can others learn to have that kind of courage?

RON: Well, in a situation like COVID, it's mass hysteria. But I said, look, I'm the decider. They elected me. They didn't elect some health bureaucrat to run the state of Florida. I have to make these decisions. And I had to familiarize myself with the data. And it was clear to me, pretty early on, that, you know what, this Fauciism is not right. It's not working.

It's destructive. And there's a better path. And I did not know how it was going to work out for me politically, Glenn. In fact, a lot of my supporters were very concerned.

I would get phone calls about, why aren't you imposing mass? Or why are you letting people go to theme parks and all this other stuff?

But I just told myself, look, my job is to protect the people that elected me. Not to look out for my own. And if it doesn't work out for me, so be it. But I will be able to look in that mirror and say, you know what, when it was hot in the kitchen, I stood in there, and I did what was right for the people of Florida.

Now, it turned out that people respected that I stood up for them. Because they didn't have a voice really anywhere else. And they ended up rewarding me. But certainly in those early weeks or months, I was getting fileted more than any other governor in the country. I was very popular going into COVID. I mean, I don't do polls.

But everyone said, my popularity plummeted. And that's just the way it is. But when you're in these things, the daily kind of back and forth. There are ups and downs.

But the question is: Where is true north? And are you going to be able to get to true North?

I had to just block all that out, and do what I thought was right.

GLENN: So what is your true north?

RON: Well, I think in this case, the True North was, I could not allow our society in Florida, to collapse under the weight of Fauciism.
I mean, we have a tourism-based economy.

We have so many people that depended on this state being vibrant. I also had a lot of elderly people that we were really concerned about. And we did a lot to target whatever support they needed. Such as treatment and the like, to do that.

But we had to keep things going. I understood that, instinctively. And we had to navigate very treacherous waters, to be able to get that done.

Beyond that, what is true north?

When I talk about the courage to be free. What I'm recognizing, is, the threats to our freedom are not just from bad government policy. Yes. At the state level. We are doing good policy. We're protecting your freedom from the government of Florida. That's important. We're fighting back against Biden.

And we're dealing with logical governments, when they get out of control. Very important. But there's a lot of power building exercised in an ideological way. By corporate America. By big tech. By all these other institutions. So when you recognize that, and you stand up to fight against it, they are not going down without a fight. They come at you. Leadership is not cost-free.

So you just have to understand that, when you're going in, that these are not easy fights. That you are going to face blowback, you are going to face smears. But if you stand in there, and you don't give an inch. And you just keep speaking the truth. People will respond. And they will have your back. And that's what happened in the state of Florida. You know, the media could say. By the time I came up for reelection. The media could say whatever they wanted about me. And our supporters did not believe a word of it. They had my back. And they made sure we won a historic victory.

GLENN: Let me ask you. In politics, people care much less about the individual than they do the giant corporations. Because it's easier to raise money.

And you need those guys on -- on board. You have taken all of the sacred cows. And gone after them.

And you have also just -- you have the best legislation.

I wish -- I wish every state in the union, would pass your legislation on ESG.

It is the best.

And you've taken this on.

You've taken Disney on.

Where do you get your support just from the people, or do you have institutional support?

Are there people inside these institutions, that are saying, oh, thank God?

RON: Yeah. Look, I think when we're talking about things like ESG. We are also in this legislative session, we will eliminate the DEI bureaucracies and all of our state universities.

And there's a lot of Democrats, Glenn. They can't say it, but they don't like some of this stuff, that's coming down the pike.

They don't want their kids to have to potentially suffer negative consequences based on the color of their skin. So there is some quiet support.

GLENN: Correct.

RON: But you know what I found in terms of like standing up to the big interests is, at the end of -- because some politicians are like, oh, man, I need to raise money from them. They're going to come after me. All this stuff. At the end of the day, doing the good policy, exercising the leadership, and delivering the results, that is more important than any campaign, financial support, or any of that.

GLENN: Uh-huh.

RON: So sometimes these elected officials, they think like, okay. I get in office, and I need to raise money so I stay in office.

You don't never to do that, if you're doing a good job. Then when the money comes in against you, it doesn't work. Because people see the results. And, oh, by the way, even though I came into office standing against big sugar, which is a massively powerful interest in Florida. We fought Disney. We fought the pharmaceuticals. We fought across-the-board. I still raised more money than any governor candidate in the history of Florida. Part of it, we have a lot of grassroots. Part of it, we have a lot of wealth moving into Florida. Who basically said, I need DeSantis to be governor. Because if I just left New York or Illinois, I don't want to see Florida turn into that, so there was a reason why they did it.

But then, Glenn, what happened was, I flipped it around. We run the show. We run the agenda.

Some of these businesses and stuff, they just want to -- they want to help me out. Because they don't want to be the next Disney.

And so I think we have it going in a good direction. That's the way it should be.

Don't be subservient to the chamber of commerce. They should be coming to you, asking how they can help you, not the other way around.

GLENN: I'm not saying that you are running for president.

But I'm not not saying that artery.

If someone like you were to run for president, could this be done on a national level?

RON: So I think all the ideas that we talk about in the book, and the successes we have, I do think there's a majority of the American people that would support it. If you think about it, Florida has been a microcosm of the country for a long time.

You know, if we're winning places like Miami-Dade County, you know, that's going to bode well for other parts of the country. Now, if you talk about at the federal level, there are certain things that may be easier, actually to do. Because I think that with the vast administrative state. If you have a determined executive, who knows how to use those levers of power, I think you could do a complete upheaval of the Deep State. I think there's a lot of things you can do from executive and administratively, that will really get our country on a good footing.

Now, dealing with the Congress, is a little bit different than dealing with the state legislature. I mean, most of the citizens of Florida, don't know their legislatures that much.

They know. So what they want, the Republican governors, you better be supporting the governor. As you get into Washington, some of these guys, you know, have their own brands and all that.

And I'm not saying it can't be done. But you have to go into that with the right frame of mind. And say, okay.

How do you corral these guys to be able to land really important legislative -- but you have to do both.

You can't just be successful on executive action and ignore the legislative. And if you're successful in legislative, you can't be somebody that is not willing to really go in and upend this entrenched, highly politicized bureaucracy that's developed.
GLENN: Governor Ron DeSantis, the name of the book. It came out yesterday. Already number one. The Courage to be Free. Authored, and this is very rare. Authored by him. Every word. Authored by him.

And we will see you Saturday, sir. I have a lot more to -- a lot more to talk to you about. And we'll that do podcast on Saturday. We'll see you then.

RON: Okay. Godspeed. God bless.

GLENN: Courage to be free.

STU: By the way, the podcast comes out I guess the week of March 13th.

GLENN: March 13th. Yeah.


Glenn EXPLODES at Pro-Debt Republicans, ESG 'Politicization' & MSNBC LIES | Glenn TV | Ep 281

Democrats are behaving like spoiled children, demanding a limitless debt ceiling so they can spend uninhibitedly. On today's Friday Exclusive, Glenn demands that Republicans pick a side on whether they're okay with debt or not, and he reveals who's truly being held hostage as the debt crisis gets worse. Also, has the push for ESG hit its peak? Glenn reacts to the absurd notion that ESG has been "politicized" by conservatives. Lastly, Glenn tries to understand the new ways people can identify as lesbian ...


Video PROVES far-left crime policy is DESTROYING American cities

Recently posted video Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia provides a SHOCKING view of some of America’s most crime-ridden cities. In fact, homelessness, drug abuse, and more have become so out-of-hand, that even the bluest of Americans are taking a stand. In this clip, Glenn plays video of Oakland, California residents standing up to city officials for not doing anything to stop the crimes. Glenn explains that these videos PROVE the far-left’s policy on crime is destroying U.S. cities and that so many Americans are living in fear as a result of it all…


Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Let me take you here. Let me show you the horror on the streets of Philadelphia.

Cut five. Now, I lived in Philadelphia, it was always not the best.
But this is --

STU: Less suboptimal.

GLENN: Less suboptimal. These people are zombies. They're just all drugged out. Laying in the streets. Or stooped over.

All in Philadelphia.

Now, let me show you something else. This is in Oakland.

This is people coming and speaking. This happened this week, in Oakland California.

Not exactly a -- a red part of California.

STU: It's not MAGA land.

GLENN: No. It's not MAGA land. So these are the Oakland residents that are coming to Oakland, to demand a change from the city.

Listen to this.

I'm Louise, owner of Studio Naga.

VOICE: I you in your office every week. (inaudible) I email everyone. And you know the situation.

Someone who is mentally deranged, in front of my business, who has threatened me multiple times. Who has threatened other people. Who has defecated on a property on our business. And I'm being told by macro that they can't do anything. I'm being told by police, that there has to be something in the middle.

As they said, I don't want to have to get threatened with sexual violence. I don't want my children to see this, as a normal behavior from an individual on the street. That they get.

He's naked. He's masturbated in front of them. He's urinated in front of them.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

VOICE: And there's nothing I'm told the police can do. So your policy of not enforcing some of this 150 feet from the school, 150 feet from the residences. That policy has a direct effect.

GLENN: Okay?

STU: Jeez.

GLENN: Can you imagine that? Can you imagine that?

Why are you paying taxes? What am I paying taxes for?

Okay. Listen to this. Crime change, cut two. Number seven.

VOICE: I understand. It comes from a place of hurt, generally when people are being violent. At some level, in some form, it's coming from a place of hurt. Sure. But if they're doing hundreds of gun point robberies mostly to women, to people of all races, where I've been in poverty my whole life, it makes it hard for us to keep job, to find jobs, to live life, to fight through mental health issues. To fight through our poverty. And it's not just one Democrat, and women. It's all kinds of women being targeted. This is systemic violence as well.

STU: Yeah.

GLENN: So here's what I want to leave you with.

When you start to have conversations. Because all of the data points are there.

Before, when they were like, we'll reimagine the police. We're like, that's not going to work. That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard.


And that obviously, wasn't necessarily the best thing to say. But that's what was out of our mouths. I know it was my mouth at the time.

You are out of your mind?

Now all the data points are there. You show things like this.

And say, so let's talk about defunding the police. And saying, that the homeless, you know, can live anywhere they want. And all of this.

How is that working out for you?

Just ask them that. How is that working out?

Can we just look at -- can we just look at the facts? How is the city doing?

How is crime? How is crime, compared from a red city, to a blue city?

Is there anything we can learn from this? How is it working out?

And just be kind about it. But it's time we talk about facts. This is empirical evidence. This is how science is done.

I don't follow scientists. Because I know scientists can be wrong. I follow actual scientists. And that is, I have a theory.

I will now test it out, and I will look at the facts. So when they say, you just don't even know, you're a racist.

No. I'm following science. Here's how it works. You propose a theory.

I think police are making our cities racist. And they're -- they -- we would be safer, in the minority communities, if there weren't any police.


You said defund, because you want to reimagine.

Now we've done that in several cities. So let's look at those cities. Because if it was working and it was better. I would be with you.

I would change my mind. I don't want to be right.

I want to live in a great country, that treats everybody fairly. That -- that looks at everyone equally. Looks at people who are sick, and says, they're sick.

How can we help them?

I don't want to live in crime. And neither do you.

So how is that working out?

That's science.

STU: We did a show on Stu Does America, called Stu does the collapse of the American city. A couple weeks ago. And highlighted a station called old station subtraction in Phoenix.

Listen to this. This is their everyday. Everyday.

Sixty-nine-year-old owner, who opens a sub shop. It's been around for a while. This is his current situation. There are hundreds of people sleeping within a few blocks of Old Station. Most of them suffering from mental illness or substance abuse, as they lived out their private lives with public view of the restaurant.

They slept on Joe and Debbie's outdoor tables. Defecated on their back porch. Smoked methamphetamine in their parking lot. Washed clothes in their bathroom sink. Pilfered bread and gallon jars of pickles from the delivery trucks. Had sex on their patio. Masturbated within view of their employees. And lit fires for warmth that burned down palm trees and scared around customers.

Within a half mile of the restaurant, the police have been called to an average of eight incidents a day in 2022.

There are at least 1,097 calls for emergency medical help. 573 fights or assaults.

236 incidents of trespassing, 185 fires, 140 thefts, 125 armed robberies, thirteen sexual assaults, and four homicides. The remains of a 20 to 24-week-old fetus, 20 to 24-week-old fetus were burned and left next to a Dumpster in November. Two people were stabbed to death in their tents.

Sixteen others were found dead from overdoses, suicides, hypothermia, or excessive heat.

A group of young men in the encampment have begun selling off pieces of the public sidewalk, charging each person $20 a week for what they called lot rent and security.

That had seemed ridiculous, to an encampment resident, until he decided not to pay and then awoke one night to the smell of someone dowsing his tent with lighter fluid.

Then there was Kesha, barely out of her teens, who skittered around the encampment like a scared cat, wary of everyone. Carrying a few old dolls, and crying sometimes.

Joel had tried to watch out for her, offering her water, for a few minutes inside whenever she was upset.

But one weekend, when he wasn't around, the temperature was 115 degrees. She laid down on the curb near his gallery and died of heat exhaustion. Story after story after story of this.

GLENN: Oh, my gosh.

STU: This goes back to one of these court rulings where they said, of course it's okay to camp outside. That's okay.

Of course it is. So this has completely devastated. And this is the story of one sandwich shop. But this is repeating itself all over the country.

GLENN: So, you know, here's the thing.

We have to understand, that America is not all -- John Philip Sousa, marching bands, perfect military, and white picket fences. Okay?

We have to understand that. I never thought it was. I thought we were better than we are now.

I never thought it was. We've done some really bad things. I'm willing to admit that. I know at this point, you are too.

Because we've gone through this together. We've actually gone through soul-searching. The vast majority of Americans have changed. The vast majority of Americans on both sides have changed.

Now, we've changed because we've done soul-searching. And we went, yeah. Jeez. We really screwed things up. Boy, you know what. The liberals who were right about the companies, becoming the state, I didn't think that 20 years ago.

And they were right about the FBI. And the -- the spy apparatus in this country. They were right.

Okay. All right. Now, why do I say that?

Not because I'm forced to. But because I'm watching the evidence.

Nobody convinced me of that. The evidence is overwhelming. Now, while that evidence is coming out, and changing hard-core Republicans, hard-core conservatives.

Really pro-police. Pro-military. All of the things, that they've always hated.

As we're changing, because we see the facts. They're changing in spite of the facts.

And embracing the things they rejected. This is not logical.

It's just not logical.

And it's -- it's -- it won't endure.

And the further we get down this path. I'm reallying beginning to understand, the gods of the copybook headings. With terror and slaughter return. Is the last line. Of that Rudyard Kipling poem.

And I'm beginning to understand it. It doesn't just mean war. It doesn't mean, you'll have someone come in, and just right everything. We're experiencing the terror and slaughter right now.

We're experiencing it. How many people in this country, right now are living in fear. That weren't living in fear, ten years ago.

How many people who own a business in a town, live in fear of what the police won't or will do, of what's happening outside of their streets.

Anybody who says they're compassionate, and they heard what Stu just read, that's happening in Arizona. How do you claim compassion here?

How is this compassionate? You are not helping the lowest. You're enriching the rich right now.

You're not even -- you're not helping the millionaires. You're helping the billionaires.

You're empowering them. You're destroying so many lives, that are living on the streets, that are in the worst shape.

And how you are doing that?

By disregarding every known principle. There's a difference between facts. Facts can change.

Principles don't change. There's something that man has found to be true, over thousands of years.


The 1 REASON why the Russia & Ukraine War hasn’t become WW3

Is Vladimir Putin’s restraint the ONLY reason why the Russia & Ukraine War hasn’t yet evolved into World War 3? Because if the situation was different — as Glenn plays out in this clip — there’s a high probability the United States would currently be fighting a world war. So, with such high chances of escalation, why are yesterday’s anti-war Democrats suddenly fully on board? Glenn explains it all in this clip, adding that though Russia’s invasion was ‘abhorrent,’ it’s clear many in Washington are choosing to take advantage of the situation rather than make the right decisions for the U.S.’ overall safety and security…


Glenn ranks Pride Month's WORST & WOKEST LGBTQ commercials

It’s officially June, which means you’re about to see Pride flags plastered all over the windows, merchandise, and social media pages of nearly every corporation throughout America. Why? So they can receive a high ESG score, of course! So, to celebrate Pride Month, Glenn ranks some of YOUR favorite companies’ worst and wokest LGBTQ commercials. From the North Face and Ford, to Bud Light and Converse, these are ads like you've never seen before... To see Glenn rank all top 10, watch the most recent Glenn TV Friday Exclusive (titled ‘Pride Propaganda’) which is available now on