Ron DeSantis says ‘newcomers’ to Florida are often bad boaters


Should newcomers to Florida learn to boat? Ron DeSantis suggests so, and that those lessons should happen sooner than later for some recent transplants.

The Governor said Tuesday that one difference between longtime Floridians and those new to the Sunshine State can be found in how they operate boats.

“Newcomers,” per the Governor, have a bit of a learning curve before they navigate the state’s waterways with the aplomb of longtime residents, who apparently are more skilled navigators.

“What are you going to learn to do? Like some, you can learn to golf,” DeSantis quipped. “But a lot of them learn to boat and fish.”

“The problem is, they’ll buy these boats and don’t know necessarily how to run them right, yet,” DeSantis added, enjoying his own comic riff. “And so you’ll know who the newcomers are. And these boat captains are like, ‘Yeah, that person just moved here and I’ve got to teach them a little bit.’”

“They’ll learn, that’s fine,” DeSantis added.

DeSantis made the remarks about boaters as part of a larger contemplation of people who moved to Florida during the pandemic, and much of his side material was familiar, such as a reference to the state as a “refuge of sanity in a world gone mad,” and an increasingly familiar Cold War canard.

“They would tell me they would come from these lockdown jurisdictions and they land in Florida, and say this is what it must be like going from East Berlin to West Berlin,” DeSantis said.

The Governor made the comments Tuesday in Jupiter while he was accepting a re-election endorsement from the Everglades Trust. The group endorsed him in 2018, and has been a staunch supporter of his environmental agenda.

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