DeSantis to deliver ‘major policy speech’ at Heritage leadership summit after skipping CPAC

EXCLUSIVE: Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will headline the Heritage Foundation’s 50th leadership summit in April after skipping the annual Conservative Political Action Conference attended by former President Donald Trump earlier this month. DeSantis, who pundits widely expect to launch a White House bid later this year but who currently remains on the 2024 sidelines, will deliver a “major policy speech” concluding Heritage’s two-day annual summit on April 21 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, according to a press release by Heritage. “Conservatives are craving a bold and visionary leader who gets things done — and that’s exactly what Gov. Ron DeSantis has accomplished in Florida,” Heritage President Kevin Roberts said in a statement.  “Heritage recognized Florida as the top state in America for parental rights and school choice, largely because of Gov. DeSantis’ leadership,” he said. He’s unafraid to take on woke and powerful corporate interests while putting the values of everyday Floridians first and foremost.” DESANTIS, TRUMP HEADLINE COMPETING CLUB FOR GROWTH AND CPAC 2024 GOP PRESIDENTIAL CATTLE CALLS The summit will feature multiple speeches and events with members of Congress, conservative leaders and leading media commentators, including a Thursday welcome reception at George Washington’s Mount Vernon with Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and a Friday evening gala with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the release stated. Heritage’s seventh edition of “Mandate for Leadership,” written by more than 400 scholars, will also be released at the summit, the release said. The announcement comes after DeSantis skipped CPAC earlier this month to attend the Club for Growth’s annual conference in Palm Beach while Trump hurled criticisms at his potential rival from the CPAC stage. Trump delivered the keynote at the Heritage summit last year. “Everyone here tonight, very special people, is united by the same key ideas and the same core values,” the then-president said in his address. “We believe that the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution represent the pinnacle of human civilization. Our founding documents are not a source of shame. They are a source of pride.”
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