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Ron DeSantis will put his foreign presidential aspirations to the test.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is traveling abroad this week for a series of trips to ally nations after a challenging week for his national political ambitions. This will be the Florida Republican’s first opportunity to enter the world arena as a potential presidential contender.

DeSantis is traveling the world for a “international trade mission,” according to his office. DeSantis will visit Japan, South Korea, Israel, and the United Kingdom to meet with leaders and discuss new economic relationships. He will also go with first wife Casey DeSantis and two representatives from his office.

The governor stated in a news release on Thursday that “this trade mission will give us the opportunity to strengthen economic relationships and continue to demonstrate Florida’s position as an economic leader.” DeSantis will also serve as the main speaker at a gathering organized by The Jerusalem Post and the Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance while in Israel. The visit there occurs at a time when the US and its Middle East partner are at odds over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal for a judicial reform.

DeSantis’ foreign policy experience will be highlighted on the trip as he moves closer to a White House run. DeSantis gained national attention for being a serial contrarian and for successfully navigating his state through a number of cultural conflicts, but his thoughts on international matters had received less scrutiny until lately, when the governor expressed a number of divergent viewpoints regarding the conflict in Ukraine.

Before the governor reversed course and referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal in an interview with Piers Morgan, hardline Republicans in Congress raised concerns over DeSantis’ assertion that backing for Ukraine was not of “vital” national interest. A few days later, he clarified his position even less by characterizing the conflict as one involving the “borderlands.”DeSantis, a former Navy lawyer stationed in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq, sat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee during his nearly six years in office. There, he frequently criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy priorities. He has pushed legislation that would make it unlawful for Chinese people to purchase property in Florida and has advocated hard-line measures against communist governments in Cuba and China, most recently by outlawing TikTok on state government equipment.

DeSantis made fun of a United Nations committee resolution that attacked an anti-riot law he supported as governor on Friday, despite the fact that he was planning to meet with friends to promote trade with his state.

He remarked, “I wear that criticism as a badge of honor,” during a Heritage Foundation gathering outside of Washington.

Since the beginning of his first term as governor in 2019, when he traveled to Israel with the state’s elected cabinet members, DeSantis hasn’t left US land on official business. Other than Israel, DeSantis has not traveled abroad while serving as an elected official.Rick Scott, the former governor of Florida and current US senator, undertook more than a dozen trade missions while serving as governor. DeSantis, though, has mainly been focused on domestic matters while simultaneously dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that severely limited travel for the majority of his first term.

difficulties at home

DeSantis is leaving behind the most challenging portion of the unofficial launch of his anticipated presidential campaign as well as difficulties in his home state that have prompted critics to raise concerns about his extensive recent travel. He is now preparing for his first trips to Europe and East Asia as governor.DeSantis’ chances of defeating Donald Trump in a primary have drawn public criticism from several influential contributors. Trump continues to bash his former ally on social media. The former president released a number of legislative endorsements last week, including a number from Florida members, upsetting DeSantis’ attempt to win support from his former colleagues on Capitol Hill. Trump has received the support of eleven Florida Republicans to yet, including seven last week.

DeSantis has also been under fire for how he handled this month’s heavy downpours, which were termed as a 1-in-1,000-year rainfall event that submerged Fort Lauderdale and the nearby cities. In the midst of the terrible flooding, DeSantis traveled for his book tour to Ohio and spoke at a New Hampshire Republican fundraiser. He then returned to Florida for a late-night, private signing of a six-week abortion ban. DeSantis made few public comments about the storms.

The son of the former president, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted earlier this month, “Fort Lauderdale is under water and DeSantis is campaigning in Ohio right now instead of taking care of the people suffering in his state.”

The storms also resulted in gasoline shortages throughout South Florida, which prompted the state’s two Republican US senators to criticize the response without specifically naming DeSantis. The scenario, according to Senator Marco Rubio, is “crazy,” and she said, “They gotta fix this thing.”

Families in Florida shouldn’t be concerned about paying for their next tank of petrol. The issue should be fixed using all available resources, Scott tweeted.

DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin told CNN that in answer to a question regarding the senators from Florida’s statements, “the state emergency response machinery has been at work since the floods happened and remains in full swing responding to the needs of the locals as they are notified to us. The day following the flooding, the governor declared a state of emergency.

DeSantis asked the Biden administration to declare a major disaster on Saturday.

In Tallahassee, the seat of his state government, the Florida Legislature is nearing the end of a 60-day session. GOP legislators have been entrusted with aiding DeSantis in securing policy triumphs before he begins a presidential campaign. He has already approved a number of them, including the one that outlaws abortion, the one that permits Floridians to carry concealed weapons in public, and the one that updates the state’s tort laws.

Several of DeSantis’ goals, though, seem to have stalled in the GOP-controlled legislature while he was primarily on the road. A bill that would facilitate libel lawsuits against media organizations hasn’t advanced in recent weeks. State legislators have also objected to a clause in DeSantis’ immigration plan that would end in-state tuition for people without legal status.US Representative Greg Steube, a former senator from Florida and a last-week supporter of Donald Trump, charged state legislators on Friday with “carrying the water for an unannounced presidential campaign.”

The Republican legislator wrote, “Your constituents voted you into those positions to represent them, not to kowtow to the presidential ambitions of a Governor!” “Be brave and strong; the people of Florida will appreciate it.”

DeSantis reeled off his conservative achievements as governor in front of a warm audience on Friday at the Heritage Foundation event, appearing unconcerned by the commotion.

In addition, DeSantis offered a brief glimpse into the 2024 race, outlining the issues at stake in that election and suggesting that the nation needed a “determined and disciplined chief executive to root out politicization and corruption throughout the old executive branch” – a likely dig at Trump’s distracted and frequently chaotic administration.

DeSantis stated that “we need to reject the pessimism that is in the air about the future of our country.” Because success is attainable, freedom is worthwhile, and decline is a decision that can be made.

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