Ron DeSantis has presented his definition of his favourite word - “woke” - days after Donald Trump said “half the people” can’t define it.
“Look, we know what woke is, it’s a form of cultural Marxism,” Mr DeSantis told NBC News journalist Dasha Burns on a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday.
“It’s about putting merit and achievement behind identity politics, and it’s basically a war on the truth. And as that has infected institutions, and it has corrupted institutions. So, you’ve got to be willing to fight the woke, we’ve done that in Florida, and we proudly consider ourselves the state where woke goes to die.”
Two days earlier, Mr Trump took a veiled shot at the Florida governor by criticising overuse of the Republican buzzword at his own campaign event in Iowa on Thursday.
“I don’t like the term ‘woke’ because I hear, ‘Woke, woke, woke.’ It’s just a term they use, half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is,” Mr Trump said at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, on Thursday.
During the event, Mr Trump attacked trans athletes, a popular right-wing grievance, calling it a “woke” issue before catching himself.
“I guess they define that as ‘woke,’ but that’s all woke. We have to bring common sense back to the country,” he said.
Hours later, Mr Trump repeatedly used the word during a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity.
The former president regularly uses “woke” to attack opponents, and just last month his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, announced the launch of a “non-woke men’s lifestyle magazine.”
The magazine, which is called Field Ethos, says that it will focus on “a forgotten lifestyle to those who refuse to conform,” with fishing and hunting articles written by “old-school adventurers who make no apologies for who we are.”
Mr DeSantis is also obsessed with the term and has said as president he would destroy the “woke mind virus.”
In 2021, Mr DeSantis also signed into law Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” which banned college professors in the state from teaching critical race theory.
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