Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis woos GOP Christian voters but stays tight-lipped on his own Catholic faith
GREENVILLE, S.C. As Ron DeSantis wrapped up a 12-stop campaign tour that began in an Iowa evangelical church and ended here in a South Carolina convention center, dozens of pastors met backstage to pray for the presidential candidate. Later, to the 1,500 people in the auditorium, DeSantis closed out his stump speech with a paraphrased Bible verse: I will fight the good fight, I will finish the race, and I will keep the faith.
The governors religious rhetoric and hard-charging policies are at the center of his outreach to white evangelicals an important voting bloc in the early GOP nominating contests. And yet, when it comes to his own Catholicism, the culture warrior is much more guarded, rarely mentioning the specifics of his faith and practice.
I don't think he's a wear-your-religion-on-your-sleeve kind of guy, said Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, a conservative advocacy organization that hosted a rally for DeSantis last fall.
Burch argues DeSantis policies are the true measure of his faith, from Floridas six-week abortion ban to a spate of laws targeting LGBTQ+ rights and gender-affirming care: Perhaps a good Scripture reference that may describe him is, By their fruits you shall know them.