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Florida Governor Candidate DeSantis: Civics 'Ignorance' Led to Ocasio-Cortez Win

Rep. Ron DeSantis  speaks in florida

WASHINGTON – Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said a lack of civics education in high schools, colleges and universities leads to “ignorance reigning” with congressional candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) running for office and winning.

DeSantis recommended that “all high school students, when they graduate, should have enough proficiency in American civics to be able to pass the same exam our naturalized immigrants have to pass.”

“I think that would be a good thing. And to do that you can’t just study the Constitution for a day or a week, particularly once you are in high school. I mean, you really need a comprehensive approach so that you understand what makes America unique and what principles the country was founded on and how those principles really are enduring truth – they weren’t just time pieces for that generation of Americans,” DeSantis said at Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit on Wednesday.

“My fear is there is so little emphasis on that in the high schools and the colleges. I mean, they have every type of zombie studies program you can imagine at these colleges; it’s not as easy to find things where you are really studying some of these core principles, and not just what the founders did but all the influences that led up to that point and then how those values have been applied throughout the years. I think we need to do much better. And when you don’t do that and you basically have ignorance reigning, what you end up with is you end up with candidates like Ocasio-Cortez in New York,” he added. “She’s a socialist.”

DeSantis, who is running for governor of Florida, argued that most refugees and immigrants from socialist countries would agree that socialism does not work.

“She’s running around saying, well, capitalism is going to die and all this stuff and that socialism is the wave of the future. And as somebody who lives in Florida, I can tell you, we probably have more refugees from socialist countries – Cuban-Americans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans – then just about any state, and I can tell you and certainly they can tell you socialism doesn’t work. It’s a failed philosophy,” he said.

He criticized Ocasio-Cortez for saying that the unemployment rate is at a record low because people are working two jobs.

“I think that’s the wave of the future for the Democratic Party, to be honest with you – that’s where all the energy is,” he said, referring to socialism. “And the ideas I don’t think pass muster, but when you are saying things like she did, saying, ‘oh, the unemployment is low just because people are working two jobs,’ I mean, that just doesn’t even make sense. This is socialism cloaked in ignorance.”