Governor DeSantis, who portrays himself as a champion of free speech, has come under scrutiny for his actions towards journalist Laura Loomer. Despite Loomer having a ticket to a campaign event and working as a journalist, Team DeSantis dispatched Florida law enforcement to remove her from the sidewalk outside the event. This incident has shed light on DeSantis’ attempts to limit the free speech rights of Floridians.
Loomer took to social media to express her frustration, posting a video on X stating, “WATCH: Today, Governor DeSantis called the cops on me and had me cited with a trespass notice by TampaPD after I showed up to attend his Presidential campaign event, which I had a ticket to! It’s time for DeSantis to DROP OUT! Polls today have him at 9% nationally. #Trump2024.” The accompanying video showed the encounter between Loomer and law enforcement.
Furthermore, Loomer shared a photo of the trespass notice she received from the Tampa Police, along with a caption that read, “Here’s evidence that I was TRESPASSED at DeSantis’ campaign event in Tampa, Florida today even though I had a ticket under my real name! He had the cops give me a Trespass order, and so now I am banned from returning to The Vault for an entire year. I had a ticket. #MAGA.” The image provided proof of the trespass notice and brought attention to the restrictions imposed on Loomer.
These incidents highlight the discrepancy between DeSantis’ public image as a supporter of free speech and his actual actions. Prior to announcing his presidential run, DeSantis and his allies in the Florida legislature attempted to pass the Florida Blogger Bill, which would have severely limited individuals’ ability to discuss DeSantis and required them to obtain a license from the state. During a debate with Bill Mitchell, Loomer explained the bill, stating, “The bill stated that if you wanted to even talk about Ron DeSantis positively or negatively, you had to get approval from the state first and you had to get a license in order to actually write about him. If you didn’t have the license, you would be in violation. Look it up, it’s called the Florida Blogger Bill.”
It is no surprise then that DeSantis is polling at around 9% nationally. His attempts to curtail free speech have not gone unnoticed by GOP voters, who have grown wary of his supposed support for First Amendment rights.
The incident involving Loomer further raises questions about DeSantis’ commitment to upholding free speech. By sending law enforcement to remove a journalist from a public sidewalk, despite her having a valid ticket to the event, DeSantis appears to prioritize his own agenda over the principles he claims to defend.
These developments have ignited a conversation among voters and pundits alike, with many questioning the authenticity of DeSantis’ support for free speech. As the presidential campaign progresses, it is expected that this incident will continue to be discussed, calling into question DeSantis’ credibility and potentially impacting his standing in the polls.
In conclusion, Governor DeSantis’ actions towards journalist Laura Loomer have brought to light his contradictory stance on free speech. Despite presenting himself as a defender of this fundamental right, his attempts to limit speech through legislation and his treatment of Loomer demonstrate a different reality. As DeSantis continues his presidential campaign, it remains to be seen how these incidents will influence his support among GOP voters.