Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Governor DeSantis at WMUR's 'Conversation with the Candidate' Town Hall "I'm the only candidate running who can win the primary, defeat Joe Biden, and deliver on all the things we know need to be done"

August 04, 2023

ICYMI: Governor DeSantis at WMUR's 'Conversation with the Candidate'Town Hall

"I'm the only candidate running who can win the primary, defeat Joe Biden, and deliver on all the things we know need to be done"

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Governor DeSantis joined Adam Sexton at the WMUR Studio in Manchester, New Hampshire earlier this week for WMUR's 'Conversation with the Candidate' town hall series. The conversation, which aired tonight, featured a sit-down interview segment with Adam Sexton followed by a Q&A session with New Hampshire voters. The highlights are below.

Watch part one of the town hall HERE and part two HERE.

On how he would handle the growing drug problem due to cartels:

Day one, we're declaring [the border crisis] a national emergency. I'm going to mobilize all available resources, including our military, to go to the border. We're going to stop the invasion. Yes, we will build a border wall, but I think most importantly, I'm going to do what no President has been willing to do. We are going to lean in against the cartels directly and we are going to use deadly force against them. They're cutting through fencing. They are coming right across with fentanyl strapped to their back, killing tens of thousands of people in this country, and Biden is just letting it happen. If you give them pushback, you are going to change the equation. We have tens of thousands of people dying in this country from fentanyl overdose. Mothers all across this country have had to bury loved ones because that poison is coming in...we're also going to have a taskforce to do maritime operations because they're bringing in the precursor chemicals from China. And then the cartels are making the fentanyl. We're going to interdict that. I mean, when have we ever allowed thousands, hundreds of thousands of Americans to die at the hands of, what I think these cartels are, effectively foreign terrorist organizations? So buckle up, there's a new sheriff in town on January 20, 2025.

On what woke means and why it's harmful to Americans:

Woke is a form of Cultural Marxism. It's about taking individuality, merit, and achievement, and subordinating that to a political agenda based on identity politics. It is effectively displacing the truth in favor of ideology. And I think it's important that we fight against that because our society does need to be rooted in truth. Don't tell me that a man can get pregnant and expect me to believe that. That is not true, and we can't govern our society based on things that are not true. Second, when that ideology takes hold of institutions, it corrodes the institutions, and it produces bad results. For example, when you have woke overtake parts of the economy with things like ESG, they attack energy, they affect other things; the average person ends up poorer as a result of that. When woke overtakes education, you get indoctrination, and students end up performing worse as a result of that. When you have ideological prosecutors get into office in cities like San Francisco, they stop prosecuting criminals, the inmates run the asylum, [and] the average person ends up less safe as a result of that. Every jurisdiction in this country that has indulged in this type of leftism, every city or state has failed. How do I know that? Because people that are fleeing are coming to my state in Florida and they're telling me the story about it. So this is not just an academic debate, it's 'do we want policy based on tried and true principles, enduring principles that have made our country great,' or are we going to go on some ideological joyride, let people out of prison, do this, do that, and see our quality of life be destroyed? Woke needs to die.

On how he will lower the cost of energy:

We are going to open up all of our domestic energy production. We have the most oil and gas of any country in the world. And what Biden is doing, he wants to kneecap that. First of all, that means people pay more, it means businesses pay more to produce their products, it has a bad impact on our economy, fewer jobs. So opening that up [means] more jobs, more industry, expands our industrial base, it does lower inflation when you see the cost of oil and natural gas go down. But here's the thing, we will be more secure as a country to be energy independent. We should never ask Maduro for oil. We should never have to do Iran or the Middle East or any of these people. So when you're doing that, who does that weaken, when we're energy independent? It weakens Vladimir Putin, it weakens Iran, it weakens Venezuela. Isn't that something that's good for our national security? I think this whole idea of a Green New Deal, they're trying to force a transition on society that is not ready to happen. California is trying to do that. They have blackouts, they literally said you're going to have to do an electric car, all new cars are going to have to be electric in five years or something like that. They make that announcement, then two days later, they make an announcement, 'all electrical vehicle owners: do not plug in your vehicle, because we can't support it on the power grid.' So how is this supposed to even work? And by the way, forcing people to buy an electric vehicle, who does that benefit? It benefits China, because all the parts that go into producing those are produced in China. That is not good for our national security. So let's use what we have. And in Florida, we've had a huge reduction in emissions over the last 10, 20 years, and a lot of that is because you're using natural gas in place of coal. We do have some solar that is economical now that people are using, but that's because of innovation, that's not because of government mandates.

On how he would handle Big Pharma as president:

We pay more for drugs in the United States than any other developed country. Why? Because pharmaceutical companies — we spend money to develop these things, but then the other countries get them cheaper, and they charge us higher to be able to recoup that intellectual property and the investment. I think that that should be spread around all these developed countries. Why should we be the only ones that are paying through our nose, and they get to pay less? And so there are things that, in that sense we can do — I actually worked with the Trump administration, there was a provision of law that allowed states to buy prescription drugs from Canada- they were the same drugs and they're like 25%, the cost. I could have saved hundreds of millions of dollars in Florida. Trump administration ended, Biden said they were going to do it, here we are two and a half, three years later, [and] they still have not approved our ability to purchase those drugs. I just think that the way pharmaceuticals have driven the cost, we're never going to get the cost under control if we continue with the same failed model.

On combatting the weaponization of the DOJ:

Clearly, if you have people that are being targeted on their race or religion, that's something that we need to snuff out, and will want to do it. I think the problem with this in [the] FBI and Department of Justice is they view anybody on this other side of the political spectrum as a potential target. There was a memo in one of the FBI field offices that said, 'these Catholics that are attending Latin Mass are potentially a problem.' No, that is outrageous that they're doing that. They will say, we have a parent's rights group in Florida called Moms for Liberty, and some of these left-wing groups have called them a hate group. They are not hate group. Just because they disagree with you, just because they're advocating conservative positions, you don't label them a hate group. So I think those agencies have gone way out of bounds. We will use it to go against racial discrimination, we will use it to go against religious discrimination. But we are not going to let the FBI and the DOJ be weaponized against political factions that they disagree with. That is wrong, and that is an impulse that has really been nurtured over the last decade or so in Washington, in the bowels of the bureaucracy. These are all people that think one way. They have these views on the left and they think if you disagree with that, somehow you're a threat to society. That is wrong, and that will not be tolerated in my administration.

On why he is the only person who can beat Joe Biden:

I'm not running for President to be somebody, I'm running to do something. I think 2024 is a hinge point in American history. I think I'm the only candidate running who can win the primary, defeat Joe Biden, and then deliver on all of these things that we know that needs to be done. So I feel a calling to offer myself to service...I don't care about what happens, the future, holding office, all that stuff. I have the ability to go get the job done for the country now. I don't think we have four years to be able to wait. And I think it could end up getting a lot worse, if we don't do something now. Also, this is a republic. This isn't a monarchy, there's not bloodlines, nobody's chosen for their term, you got to go and you got to earn it. When you start talking about states like New Hampshire with the first in the nation, you got to show up and answer questions. You got to go to events, you got to be here. You got to show people why you should be the next President of the United States. Nobody is entitled to be nominated, much less elected president.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Governor DeSantis at WMUR's 'Conversation with the Candidate' Town Hall "I'm the only candidate running who can win the primary, defeat Joe Biden, and deliver on all the things we know need to be done" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/364220

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