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(LifeSiteNews) – Republican U.S. Senator and former Florida governor Rick Scott issued a tongue-in-cheek warning this week for “socialists and communists” not to travel to the Sunshine State lest they be triggered by its freedom-focused policies and a populace that embraces them.

“Believe[rs] in big government” should “think twice if you’re thinking about taking a vacation or moving to Florida,” Scott said in a Twitter video published Tuesday, because they are “not welcome” in “the free state of Florida.”

“We actually don’t believe in socialism,” he said. “Some people in our state lived under it, and we know people lived under socialism — it’s not good. It’s not good for anybody.” Rather, “we like freedom, liberty, capitalism, things like that.”

The message, which was not the first of its kind from Scott, was a response to numerous left-wing identity groups such as the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign and Equality Florida and the racial pressure groups NAACP, League of United Latin American Citizens, and Florida Immigrant Coalition issuing travel advisories claiming Florida is “unsafe” or “hostile” to racial and sexual minorities due to its policies against sexually grooming minors, illegal immigration, and partisan indoctrination or race or LGBT issues in public schools.

“Claiming that Florida is unsafe is a total farce,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the driving force behind those policies, shot back in May. “I mean, are you kidding me? You look at cities around this country, they are awash in crime. In Florida, our crime rate is at a 50-year low. You look at the top 25 cities for crime in America, Florida does not have a single one amongst the top 25.”

“And if you look at cities like Baltimore and Chicago, you got kids more likely to get shot than to receive a first-class education,” DeSantis added. “Yet, I don’t see the NAACP batting an eye about all the carnage that’s happening in those areas. So this is a political stunt. These left-wing groups have been doing it for many, many years. And they are colluding with legacy media to try to manufacture a narrative.”

According to Florida Division of Elections statistics released earlier this month, Florida is estimated to have seen a net shift of 750,000 voters from the Democrat Party to the GOP since DeSantis took office in 2019 and began implementing what many have called the most aggressive conservative policy agenda in the nation, further bolstered by his aggressive opposition to lockdown policies and mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That record led to a 19-point reelection for DeSantis last fall during a midterm season in which most Republicans were considered to have underperformed, barely retaking the U.S. House of Representatives and failing to retake the Senate despite widespread discontent with Democrat President Joe Biden’s job performance.

DeSantis is currently running on his successes for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, challenging former President Donald Trump. For months the only major declared candidate, Trump maintains an intensely loyal core of supporters and an army of professional defenders in conservative media, and he continues to hold a commanding lead in national primary polls. DeSantis has the edge in fundraising and is expected to be competitive in the early states, aided by an ambitious ground operation. Voting in the Republican primaries does not begin until next January with the Iowa caucuses.