Republican Ron DeSantis wagers on conservative appeal in the Florida governor's race

Regarding Kamala Harris’ criticism of black history standards, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took a stance.

Last Updated: 23 July 2023By

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis called the criticism of controversial black history standards adopted by the state education board, made recently by Vice President Kamala Harris during her Friday campaign in Utah, “absolutely laughable.”

News Update: This week, the approved standards include directions for public school students in Florida to “develop skills that can be applied in some circumstances, for their personal benefit.” According to AP, Harris criticized the updated black history curriculum on Friday, saying, “They are trying to advance their agenda to our children.”

What he’s saying: “This is completely offensive,” Desantis, a GOP presidential hopeful, said with a dozen or more state lawmakers in Utah’s capital on Thursday. “…They’re probably trying to show that some of them advocated for black people later in life.”

Playing the field: Desantis’ stop in Utah came as he reset his presidential campaign, trailing behind former President Trump in early national polls. Desantis said his campaign focused on Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

Result for an image Florida Regarding Kamala Harris' comments on black history standards

By the numbers: Between June 26 and July 4, 29% of the 495 registered Utah GOP voters surveyed said they would vote for Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, while 24% said they would support Desantis, according to a Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll released on Thursday. Trump had a poorer showing in Utah compared to any other red state during his 2016 presidential campaign, receiving nearly 45.5% of the vote.

Details: Following his speech, Senate President Stuart Adams (R-Layton) hosted a Pioneer Day fundraiser for Desantis in Utah County on Friday. Adams, who introduced Desantis as “the next president of America,” told Axios they were affected by the governor’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Desantis last visited the state in April when he spoke at the Utah Republican Party convention.

Flashback: An alliance of 86 elected officials in Utah, from city council members to state lawmakers, called on Desantis last November to form an exploratory committee for a 2024 presidential bid.