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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stops on Long Island for book tour, drawing supporters and protesters

Trump supporters rally at DeSantis event on Long Island
Trump supporters rally at DeSantis event on Long Island 02:23

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Supporters of former president Donald Trump rallied Saturday on Long Island at an event held by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his potential rival for the Republican presidential nomination.

As CBS2's Jennifer Bisram reports, it didn't take long for DeSantis to address Trump's indictment.

"He wants to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors, really, really dangerous stuff. And then what does he do? He turns around, does a flimsy indictment against a former president of the Untied States," DeSantis said, criticizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

He continued, "They're trying to do all these legal gymnastics to try to act like it's a felony ... This guy is doing politics. He has an agenda. That is not the rule of law."

READ MORE: Trump faces felony charge, source says

It was inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City as he promoted his new book and did a lot of campaign talk, as he inches toward a potential White House run.

"We will fight the woke in government, but we'll also fight the woke in the schools, we'll also fight the woke in the corporations. We're never gonna surrender to the woke mob because Florida is where woke goes to die," DeSantis said.

Hundreds gathered to see him.

"I want to learn more about him. We all know he's gonna be running for president. I like to make an informed decision when I vote," Warren Haley said.

"I'm here to support Governor DeSantis. I think he's done a fine job with Florida," Claire Sica said. "If he runs, I will definitely support him."

"Booming economy, like, everything is growing down there, and I think if we take what they're doing in Florida, apply it to the rest of the country, we can finally get back to the quality of life that everyone deserves," one man said.

DeSantis' trip to New York comes just days away from Trump's arraignment in Manhattan. Trump has denied all allegations.

READ MORE: Sources: 35,000 NYPD officers on standby in case of large protests after Trump indictment

His supporters organized a Trump Waving Flag rally outside the museum. Some of them were protesting DeSantis, waving flags and signs and driving Trumped-out vehicles, including a presidential limo replica.

"We're supporting the fact that Donald Trump should be our next president in 2024, not Ron DeSantis. It's not his time," Joanne Wong said.

"Ron DeSantis 2028. Jump on the train, but wait your turn," one person said.

They say they don't believe the former president should be indicted.

"We are gonna be in Manhattan on Tuesday with President Trump, backing him. This whole thing about the indictment is BS," protester James Robitsek said.

"I think it's a photo opportunity for the people that have wanted this," protester Linda Smyth said.

READ MORE: "He'll get his day in court": New Jersey voters react to unprecedented indictment of former President Donald Trump

"He shouldn't have been indicted," Wong said.

"We must save this country," another person said.

DeSantis supporters sounded off too.

"I think that it's politically motivated. I am not in favor of DA Bragg. I think that he has overlooked so much of the rampant crime in the city," Sica said.

DeSantis, who is presumably one of Trump's main rivals for the 2024 GOP nomination, has said he will not assist in an extradition request for Trump who has made Mar-a-Lago, Florida, his home.

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