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DeSantis explains what GOP missed in ‘huge underperformance’ for election

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-explains-what-gop-missed-huge-underperformance-election

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis commented on the Republican Party’s “huge underperformance” in the midterm elections at a press conference on Thursday, giving reasons why his re-election victory was dominant while the GOP nationwide captured just a slim House majority and failed to take the Senate.

DeSantis, who has been hailed by some Republicans as the new “head of the party” after his nearly 20-point landslide win, was asked for his thoughts on former President Trump being back in the news every day and perceived divisions in the GOP. The governor, who may challenge Trump in 2024, did not comment on his would-be primary opponent but did push back on the notion that Republicans are divided.

“We assumed we were going to end up with like 245 House members, we’re at 222 it looks like, which is a huge underperformance,” DeSantis said. “The question is, you know, why did that happen?” 

He observed that historic trends favored Republicans and that President Biden’s unpopularity and widespread belief that the country is headed in the wrong direction should have led to big GOP gains in Congress. 

REPUBLICAN PARTY ‘IS DEAD’ AFTER MAJOR MIDTERM ELECTION LOSSES IN ARIZONA, PENNSYLVANIA, NEVADA: HAWLEY

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition annual meeting at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nov. 19, 2022.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition annual meeting at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nov. 19, 2022.
(Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Usually those voters are going to want to vote for people that are offering an alternative, and yet some of those voters throughout the country, not in Florida, but throughout the country, even though they disapproved of Biden, even though they disapproved of the direction of the country, they still didn’t want to vote, you know, for some of our candidates,” DeSantis said.

“I don’t think it’s a question of necessarily being divided as a party, I think it’s like, OK, how do you run and win majorities?” he continued. 

TRUMP TAKES INCOMING FIRE FROM POTENTIAL 2024 GOP PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS

Former President Trump speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition annual meeting at the Venetian in Las Vegas, on Nov. 19, 2022. 

Former President Trump speaks to the Republican Jewish Coalition annual meeting at the Venetian in Las Vegas, on Nov. 19, 2022. 
(Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“I think what we’ve done in Florida is we’ve shown that we’ve exercised leadership, we’ve not kowtowed, we’ve been willing to take on big interests … but producing results, and then that ends up attracting more people to want to be on your team,” DeSantis said. “That was not something that was happening throughout the rest of the country.” 

While the governor has kept silent on his future ambitions, DeSantis fueled speculation that he intends to run for president with the upcoming release of an autobiography titled, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.” 

DESANTIS RECEIVES MULTIPLE STANDING OVATIONS AT FIRST MAJOR GOP 2024 CATTLE CALL

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis book "The Courage to be Free"

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis book “The Courage to be Free”
(Broadside Books)

The publishers said that the book “will center on critical issues that brought [DeSantis] to the center of the debate over the future of our country. He shares his thinking from when he was fighting back against COVID mandates and restrictions, critical race theory, woke corporations” and what they describe as “the partisan legacy media.” They added that the memoir will chronicle what they call “his bold, substantial policy achievements.”

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While Trump, who launched his third White House run two weeks ago, is considered the clear front-runner in the GOP nomination race, DeSantis has seen his poll numbers in 2024 Republican presidential surveys start to rival Trump’s, and his fundraising prowess matches the former president’s.

Fox News’ Andrew Murray and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/desantis-explains-what-gop-missed-huge-underperformance-election

Politics

West Virginia House passes bill expanding advocate’s authority

West Virginia’s House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to expand the authority of the state foster care advocate to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect.

Before the 100-member House voted in unison in favor, Deputy House Speaker Republican Matthew Rohrbach said the bill is “really going to help to make this system accountable, which I think is something that everybody in here wants.”

Foster Care Ombudsman Pamela Woodman-Kaehler’s office is located within the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Inspector General. But she works independently as an advocate for foster children and parents, investigating complaints and collecting data about the state’s foster care system.

Her position was created in 2019 when the number of children under state foster care had swelled to about 6,900, up more than 60% from 2015, as the state continued to be ravaged by the national opioid crisis.

WEST VIRGINIA ADVANCES PUBLIC SCHOOL MANDATE ON ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’

She is a former child protective services worker in Harrison County and was the state coordinator for a federally-mandated review panel of the state’s Bureau of Children and Families.

The bill advanced to the Senate Wednesday specifies that Woodman-Kaehler’s office has the authority to investigate deaths, abuse and neglect involving children in the juvenile justice system.

The West Virginia House OKs a bill expanding the states foster care advocates authority. This bill will investigate abuse and neglect allegations.

The West Virginia House OKs a bill expanding the states foster care advocates authority. This bill will investigate abuse and neglect allegations.

The bill also would protect the identities of people providing confidential information during investigations, prohibiting the ombudsman and her staff from being required to disclose information about investigations or identify informants in judicial or administrative proceedings. It makes all memoranda, work product, notes and case files developed and maintained as part of an official investigation confidential, and not subject to discovery, subpoena or other means of legal compulsion.

Woodman-Kaehler told a House Health and Human Resources Committee meeting that the bill would help build trust between her and people reporting abuse and neglect, and encourage more people to come forward with information during sensitive investigations.

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“This frees up the ombudsman to give them much more control,” Rohrbach said Wednesday.

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Politics

Indiana Gov. Holcomb’s public health expansion passes legislative panel

The Indiana governor’s proposal for a broad expansion of county-level public health programs won its first endorsement from state legislators on Wednesday.

The state Senate’s health committee voted 12-0 in support of a bill laying out the responsibilities that local health departments would have if county officials accept a major increase in state funding being sought by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, several medical organizations and business groups urged lawmakers to support the plan, pointing to Indiana’s poor national rankings in areas such as smoking, obesity and life expectancy.

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION EXTENDS COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY YET AGAIN

The governor’s plan would direct $100 million in the next state budget year and $200 million in the following year toward boosting Indiana’s county public health department funding from its 45th-place national ranking. The state now directs about $7 million a year to county health departments, which are primarily funded by local taxes.

While county officials would have the option of accepting the money and expanding services, some opponents with grievances over government-ordered COVID-19 precautions told the committee they feared the plan would result in the state health department gaining more authority.

The bill approved by the committee would establish “core public health services” to be provide by county departments. Those would include access to required childhood vaccinations, emergency preparedness, restaurant and sewage system inspections, communicable disease prevention and smoking cessation programs.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box speaks alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb on the proposed expansion of the state's public health infrastructure

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box speaks alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb on the proposed expansion of the state’s public health infrastructure
(AP Photo /Tom Davies)

A commission appointed by Holcomb found that all but about six of Indiana’s 92 counties are spending less than half the national median per person on public health efforts.

“Where you live in Indiana currently determines whether your local health department can provide you the full range of public health services,” Box told the committee.

Leaders of the Republican-dominated Legislature have generally supported Holcomb’s proposal but have not committed to granting his full funding request. Lawmakers might not make that decision until a new state budget plan is completed in April.

Statewide organizations representing county officials told the committee Wednesday they believed local leaders would keep control by deciding whether to opt into the expansion program or maintain state funding levels.

Some county leaders, however, said they believed the expansion would eventually lead to state control of local health departments.

INDIANA AG FIGHTS COVID-19 MISINFORMATION, POINTS FINGER AT GOVERNMENT HEALTH AGENCIES

“I would prefer the state to provide grants on a topic-by-topic basis with local control on whether to accept the grant or not and how we handle that guidance, not mandates, from the state after the COVID destructive mandates,” said Brad Rogers, a Republican county commissioner from northern Indiana’s Elkhart County.

Senators cited concerns about long-term health problems across the state, while plan opponents who spoke focused on issues such as complaints over federal approval of COVID-19 vaccines and Holcomb’s executive orders early in the pandemic for business closures and a face mask mandate. One opponent argued the plan would lead to what he called more government “tyranny.”

Similar grievances were aired to Indiana lawmakers as they debated a proposal last year that failed to win passage aiming to severely limit the COVID-19 vaccine requirements that businesses could impose on employees.

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“We have high infant mortality rates,” Republican Sen. Vaneta Becker of Evansville said as she voted in favor of the health plan Wednesday. “We have high obesity, lots of health issues in the state that need to be addressed.”

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Politics

President Biden’s physical delayed due to travel schedule, White House says

President Biden will receive a physical examination on Feb. 16 after weeks of delays that a spokesperson attributed to a “busy and evolving travel schedule in recent weeks.”

Biden, the oldest president in history, is expected to announce his bid for re-election in the coming weeks. He would be 86-years-old by the end of his second term.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced a series of questions on Biden’s physical in the new year and promised a shared report by the end of January.

BIDEN GRABS NBC REPORTER’S HAND AS HE STEPS UNDERNEATH HER UMBRELLA TO ANSWER HER QUESTION

President Biden will receive a physical on Feb. 16 after broken promises from the White House to have one conducted by the end of the past two months.

President Biden will receive a physical on Feb. 16 after broken promises from the White House to have one conducted by the end of the past two months.
(Screenshot/Twitter)

“He will have one before the — by the time the end of this month is out,” Jean-Pierre said in January. “We will share the information. We will have more to share about that before the month is over.”

This followed a promise from Biden himself in November to have a physical conducted by the end of December.

“I’ve gotten my — I will get — part of my physical is already done, and I’ll be getting it before the end of the year,” Biden said.

BIDEN’S FINAL WEEK OF CAMPAIGNING PLAGUED WITH GAFFES: ‘WHAT’S HIS NAME?’

The White House said President Biden's delayed physical is due to his busy travel schedule.

The White House said President Biden’s delayed physical is due to his busy travel schedule.
(Getty Images)

While the White House said the delay is due to his travel schedule in January, Biden spent time at his Delaware properties every weekend that month — 13 days in total. Other travel included Mexico for a summit, then trips to Kentucky, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, California and New York to tout his policy agenda.

BIDEN DAILY GAFFE AVERAGE: THE PRESIDENT IS BATTING NEARLY A THOUSAND

President Biden last had a physical in November 2021.

President Biden last had a physical in November 2021.
(Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Speculations on Biden‘s health follow the delayed physical, consistent mental gaffes and an eight-hour stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in January as first lady Jill Biden had two cancerous skin lesions removed. The president’s last physical was reported in November 2021 and detailed his prescriptions for high blood pressure and blood thinner treatments.

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