Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - DeSantis Joins MSNBC and Local Iowa Radio Shows

January 11, 2024

DES MOINES, Iowa – Ron DeSantis this morning joined MSNBC's Morning Joe, NewsRadio 1040 WHO's Max & Amy in the Morning, and AM 600 WMT's Doug Wagner Show. The highlights are below.

MSNBC: Morning Joe

Watch the full interview HERE.

On how he stood up to Fauci and kept Florida free:

This is the number one crisis he faced this president, and he chose to defer to Anthony Fauci. They were running commercials in October of 2020 for his reelection bragging that he followed everything Fauci said. And then when Fauci, Donald Trump's last day in office, he gave Fauci a commendation. He forcibly shut down Florida's cruise industry, they shut down churches on military bases, and they were pressuring states. Remember, when Brian Kemp reopened Georgia in April, Donald Trump went to the White House podium and attacked him for doing that. He was saying schools should be closed. They attacked me in the summer of 2020, when Florida had its first COVID wave and we had schools and businesses open. So it's massive, massive gaslighting. He was able to do that, I guess, on Fox with no pushback, which was really -- well, I guess that's just par for the course at this point. But the reality is, he knows that he dropped the ball on that.

On Chris Christie's hot mic moment:

I served in Fallujah and Ramadi, so nothing about the political stuff, you know, would, quote, petrify me. So, I don't know where he got that. I did call him just to offer him encouragement because I think that he had been treated poorly with so many people just demanding that he get out of the race. I didn't think he was going to get out based on my conversation, but it's all good. But I do think it's not going to be a big factor in Iowa because he really wasn't competing here. So in that sense, you know, we're all systems go through Monday. And I think that's our sole focus.

On answering tough questions and defending his record:

I did a town hall with them the day before. And I had about, I think, a half a dozen left wing plants -- including people that rushed the stage when I was up there. Which is fine, I mean, we roll with the punches. But yeah, I don't think that there was very many critical questions. And incidentally, we had a debate in Iowa at the same time. He was invited, he could have come. He's not done any debates yet. I think it's because he knows he can get away with that type of gaslighting in that venue. He knows he wouldn't be able to get away with that if we were just on the debate stage. And here's the thing. He was bragging in 2020 that he shut down the greatest economy in the world. He used to say he saved millions of lives to do that. Now he knows Republican voters think that was a mistake, but he cannot admit that he made a mistake. And I think as a leader, you know, if something doesn't work, you course correct. And voters appreciate, it's refreshing when you acknowledge that you got something wrong. Donald Trump just can't do that.

NewsRadio 1040 WHO: Max & Amy in the Morning

Listen to the full interview HERE.

On winning the CNN debate:

I think most people said it was our best yet. I know there was the one scientific poll we won overwhelmingly. But you know, the reality is I think two things. I mean, I think that, you know, we showed a contrast, you know, with Nikki Haley in terms of she's really represented and being funded by you know, kind of a lot of the warmed over corporatist faction of the Republican Party. And those are folks that honestly have not delivered very much for the American people over many decades. That's not where Iowa Republicans are. And that's not how I've governed as governor of Florida. You know, we've really focused on Main Street issues, you know, we've taken on woke corporations, you know, like Disney, and that came up where Nikki Haley sided with Disney, I sided with parents and kids about not having sexualization in the curriculum. You also had differences in terms of, you know, what's America's role in the world? I think that we want a strong America to deter conflict. She really wants to get us more involved around the rest of the world. But I think a lot of voters realize that that's not ultimately going to be the ticket to success. So I pointed out, you know, she had been ambassador to the UN, you know, that you may be able to take the ambassador out of the UN, but you can't take the UN out of the ambassador. And I think that that's true. And then I think the other issue is okay, you know, it getting down to a two person race, for people that realize or believe, hey, you know, we need to move on from Donald Trump, we need to focus on the future more, which one of us on that stage would be able to go toe to toe with Donald Trump? I mean, I think she got very flustered. I don't think she was able to defend her record. Whereas I think me, I'm proud of what we've done in Florida. I mean, you know, we've done similar to what Governor Reynolds has done in Iowa, and that's why we've been very successful. So Donald Trump was not willing to go on the stage last night. He counter programmed an event in Iowa on Fox News, where he was basically just given a bunch of softball questions. And so, you know, I think Iowans do expect you to kind of go through this process. I think that people need to subject themselves, you know, to tough environment where people are going to be firing at you. I mean, if you can't do that now, how are you going to be able to handle a general election where you're going to have the entire media hitting that you, the Democratic party, all this stuff? You need somebody that's going to be strong and is going to be able to carry the banner for the party in a good way.

AM 600 WMT: The Doug Wagner Show

Listen to the full interview HERE.

On his support in Iowa:

I mean, I think our events in the last week, a lot of undecideds are coming. We're going to be barnstorming Iowa all through caucus. I think there's a lot of people that haven't made a firm decision. We've got a lot of firm commitments, which is great. And these folks are going to come out, and we're going to turn them out. But we have, others have decisions to make. And the way I frame it is this: Donald Trump is running for his issues, Nikki Haley's running for her donors' issues, I'm running for your issues and your family's issues and solely to turn this country around. I'm the only candidate running that's delivered on 100% of his promises as governor down in Florida. And then the only candidate running that's beat the left across the board, whether it's the teachers' unions on school choice, whether it's Fauci on COVID, whether it's George Soros on crime, whether it's the left by us banning China from buying land in the state of Florida. We've just not, we've not only fought for people, we've won for people, and that's what we need for the next leader of this country.

On combatting false media narratives:

This is a unique caucus because, you know, you have a former president who is running, not participating in the normal give and take of debates or whatnot, has a lot of favorable media, the liberal media, I think, wants him to be the nominee, then he's got the conservative media that better protecting him. And so they've created a narrative around this. And I think once Iowans vote, you know, it's like, okay, well, this is where we're at. So I think doing well here really, really will be more meaningful probably than in past years with caucus. And so what I've been telling people is, you're probably never going to be able to cast a more meaningful vote in your life. I mean, there's going to be a relatively small number of people. 186,000 caucused in 2016. It could be less, I mean, you could have 150,000 show up. So if you're going, and you're supporting me, and you bring a neighbor, and a friend, and a family member, that is going to have a huge impact if Iowans are doing that all up and down the state. So yes, I think it's going to be a big deal. I think it's going to bring further clarity to the race, and that's what this is all about.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - DeSantis Joins MSNBC and Local Iowa Radio Shows Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370650

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