FLORIDA NEWSWIRE: OPINION — When I read that Governor Ron DeSantis was not allowing press in the election-year Republican Summit in Hollywood, Fl, I wasn’t surprised. Irrespective of his repetitive slamming of the “corporate media,” I knew that there was more to the coincidental timing of the overturning of Roe and the inability for the press to access the previously attainable pass.

Florida Newswire OP-ED

The event hosts debates, parties and all of the big wigs of the right wing. From DeSantis to Rubio, the “Sunshine Summit” is a who’s who of Florida politicos. The only person absent will be Trump who is scheduled to perform on the other coast at The Turning Point Action Summit, a convention for the conservative group that organizes high school and college students around conservative principles.

Considering media presence is a given at the event, journalists at both Politico and Florida Politics tweeted their surprise that they were unable to get press credentials. The New York Times said that it the event is “not going to be ‘open media’ or livestreamed.”

To confirm that this wasn’t a fluke or some crossed wires, DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw tweeted, “It has come to my attention that some liberal media activists are mad because they aren’t allowed into #SunshineSummit this weekend.”

“My message to them is to try crying about it,” she said, “then go to kickboxing and have a margarita. And write the same hit piece you were gonna write anyway.”

Zac Anderson of USA Today-Florida wrote in his opinion piece that he felt that although media are usually welcome at this event, they were being barred to avoid any conflict with coverage of Trump’s event on the other coast. Anderson felt that by competing with Trump for attention from the media, DeSantis could draw Trump’s ire, something he felt DeSantis would prefer to avoid in the short term.

Though it’s impossible to know what really goes on in the heart of the GOP, one thing is certain: there is only one topic of debate that has threatened DeSantis’ sovereignty in Florida, and that is the overturning of Roe v Wade.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, though 50% of Floridians feel that DeSantis is doing a good job with the economy, 57% of Floridians disagree with the striking down of Roe. Furthermore, only 9% of Floridians support a total ban on abortions.

On a national stage, a survey conducted by Marist College for NPR and PBS NewsHour reported that 51% or their respondents said that they were more likely to vote for candidates supporting abortion protections.

All of these concerns are evidenced in shifts in the DeSantis campaign’s messaging. He made a brief statement vowing to “expand prolife protections,” but since then has remained largely quiet on the topic, a decision political analysts say is largely an attempt to avoid alienating either side.

But at the “Sunshine Summit” DeSantis is under a microscope. His base is clamoring to hear that Florida is mere months away from from a complete ban on abortions. He will be forced to say it definitively, and if he does so on a public stage in front of the media, he has to consider that his house of cards might completely collapse.

Regardless of the true reason that the “Summit” is excluding press, DeSantis has seemingly, for the time being, been given a pass on his stance on abortion. But the overturning of Roe has put a national pressure on him to make a declarative statement about where Florida will stand on the issue. Whichever side he takes, DeSantis knows how powerful the political impact of that position will be, so it’s time for us to know for certain which side he’s on.


This editorial content first appeared on and is Copr. © 2022 by Laura Dean and Florida Newswire™, a publication of Neotrope®. Opinions are those of the author and may not represent opinions or policy of the site or its publisher.