Op-Ed

Trump’s been good for Florida. Come 2020, Florida should be good to him | Opinion

Donald Trump announces 2020 presidential campaign

President Donald Trump announced his re-election campaign on June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.
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President Donald Trump announced his re-election campaign on June 18, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

It’s not just happenstance that President Trump chose the Sunshine State to officially kick off his re-election bid. On Tuesday, Trump hosted an enormous rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, with 20,000 people packing the arena and thousands more watching from outside. More than 120,000 had requested tickets.

Florida is where Hillary Clinton’s long night of Nov. 8, 2016 got started. The early results from Florida were the first signal to the media and the political establishment that the American people had something very different in mind than the Clinton coronation they had planned on.

Florida, once a perennial battleground state, has become quintessential Trump country.

That gives Floridians, who have benefited immeasurably under his administration, an incredible opportunity to get a head start on organizing for the 2020 campaign.

As high as the stakes are in a typical Florida presidential race, even more hangs in the balance here for 2020.

Two and a half years ago Hillary Clinton felt entitled to Florida’s electoral votes, and this time around Democrats will be motivated by a desire for vengeance.

However, under Trump, we’ve achieved almost full employment, with a historically low unemployment rate of just 3.4 percent. Florida businesses have created more than 500,000 new jobs since Election Day 2016, resulting in a jobless rate more than a full percentage point lower than it was when President Obama left the White House.

Trump has taken an uncompromising line with the Chinese communists, using targeted counter-tariffs as leverage to secure a fair trade deal for American workers. Similarly, the President deftly used the threat of tariffs to secure significant concessions from the Mexican government to begin to bring illegal immigration under control.

And yet, even with his assertive displays of resolve abroad and on our own borders, the President has preserved a tenuous peace after almost two decades of constant interventionist war supported by both parties.

On the home front, the Trump administration is making our communities safer by cracking down on the violent MS-13 street gang — arresting more than 4,000 members in 2017 alone — as well as strengthening federal background checks to make sure firearms are kept out of the hands of dangerous criminals. He has also made improving the nation’s healthcare a top priority, devoting $6 billion to fighting the opioid epidemic, fixing the VA for veterans and eliminating Obamacare’s disastrous individual mandate penalty.

This is why the Democrats are so desperate to make 2020 a referendum on the president and their ability to demonize him personally. We got a preview of that strategy during the 2018 midterms.

By electing Sen. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis, Floridians proved that the America First agenda is more compelling than the Democrats’ anti-Trump vitriol.

There’s too much at stake in 2020 for us to let ourselves get complacent, though. Trump announced his re-election campaign in Orlando because he knows that Floridians may well hold the future of the entire country in our hands, and he’s calling on us to protect our fellow citizens from the Democrats’ dangerous economic ideas and radical social agenda.

We have an incredible opportunity. Let’s show the rest of the country why Florida was given the exclusive honor of hosting the rally to launch the president’s reelection campaign.

Pam Bondi is a partner at Ballard Partners and an advisory board member of the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. She is the former Florida attorney general.

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