Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis' Exclusive Town Hall on Newsmax

November 20, 2023

"Day one, we will go, we will take on all the sacred cows, spit nails. I will do it for two terms, for eight years. I'll be able to do the people's business."

Des Moines, IA - Ron DeSantis today joined Newsmax's Eric Bolling and Bianca de la Garza for a town hall in Urbandale, Iowa. The highlights are below.

Watch the full town hall HERE.

On the need for a new generation of leadership:

_ I'll go in there, I'm in the prime of my life. Day one, we will go, we will take on all the sacred cows, spit nails. I will do it for two terms, for eight years. I'll be able to do the people's business. High energy, a lot of vitality and we will deliver papers. I think that the Democrats know, his [Biden's] the age is a big issue for voters. I think they want someone else, but they also know they can't just push it aside. He's the sitting president, and I don't know how that's going to work. I don't know if he's going to be willing to do it. But Republican voters in Iowa caucus voting, you should assume that it may not be Biden. So when you're looking at the choice about who would be the best candidate for us, put someone up that would be able to go against Biden or Kamala Harris or Newsom or any of these people and be able to get the job done_.

On being a pro-life president:

I think that we stand for a culture of life. And that's something that's very important to a lot of people. It's something of course you respect-we have a big diverse country, not everyone's going to agree on anything. But part of what 'stands for culture of life' means, and I think Republicans and pro-lifers have not been as good articulating this is, that's pro-life for the whole life. And so for example, in Florida, we've said you know what? We want to help moms. We've made all baby items tax free, permanently. Diapers, wipes things and all that stuff, because it's hard to raise kids in this day and age. My wife Casey has launched an initiative called Hope Florida, which, people come in for welfare benefits. A lot of times it's single moms. Instead of just doing government bureaucracy, doing a check, she's got churches and synagogues and charities and businesses plugged in what's called a care portal. The mom has needs that goes out to the community. And that's what, these folks and then their help, giving a helping hand when you have a young mom with a kid that needs help, when they are with the church, when they are with this charity, they don't go back for government assistance. And so I think we've got to recognize, especially in an era of Bidenflation, raising kids is not easy, and we've got to do a better job of being there.

On the importance of debating:

We need to have debates. Whether the RNC should be the ones that are controlling that, I don't know that that's necessarily the right way. That's how it's gone. Maybe as we get forward maybe there'll be more free wheeling debates. I mean, I'd love to do a debate on Newsmax... But listen, I just find it funny people say cancel debates and stuff. The last time I checked, the people decide who they want to nominate, who they want to elect...we're going to do the debate with Gavin Newsom on November 30. We're going to do the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I believe it's December 6th. I've been saying we need to debate in Iowa before the Iowa caucus.

On the importance of civics:

What I want in the schools is to put American civics back in a big way. I want the Constitution taught. I want people to understand our founding principles. I want our students to understand what it means to be an American. When we're graduating students from my high school, they're going to go off in a bunch of different ways in terms of how they're going to pursue their life, but all of them will be called upon to exercise the duties of being an American citizen. And I believe we have a responsibility to graduate people who aren't just blank slates, that they have a solid foundation. They know that our rights come from God not from the government, they understand that the Constitution is limited and enumerated powers, not unlimited federal power over society. So we have to understand these things.

On standing strong with Israel:

I would clearly do much different than what Biden is doing. He said he supports Israel, and then he turns around and he kneecaps Israel behind the scenes. That's wrong. So they'll have our unwavering support. Yes, we continue with military support, Iron Dome, some of those things that we have a relationship with. We absolutely will do that. And we will provide them with the support so that they can fight and win the war. And as I told Eric, we're going to turn the screws on the Iranians. We're going to understand that they are hostile to this country, hostile to Israel, and stop sending them money. Stop letting them get this. I mean, Obama airlifted billions of dollars in cash and dropped it off in Iran when he was President. Biden has opened the spigot, they're making huge amounts of money on selling oil and then of course, China's buying oil from them off the black market. So with Iran ultimately, we're gonna deep end their entire economy with our sanctions and they're not going to be able to fund Hezbollah and Hamas like they have.

On securing the border and stopping the invasion:

They are invading our country and killing our citizens by 10s of 1000s with fentanyl overdoses. They're also sex trafficking a lot of people in our country. So you not only have a right, you have a duty to respond in time, so we're going to treat them as a kin to foreign terrorist organizations, similar to how we would do after 911. If you have somebody, you identify him, you can use deadly military. Of course we're going to treat it as a military problem, because what we're doing now obviously isn't working and people are dying. So I think once you do that, and once you show you're willing to do that, there's going to be a big change in behavior because they are not going to want to put up with that. But it is absolutely within our right. We have foreign nationals, foreign terrorists infiltrating our country and killing our people to fight back.

On combatting the threat of communist China:

I think China is a threat for this country and I think we need to decouple our economy from China. We rely on China for pharmaceuticals, things involving military equipment, all these things that are key to national survival. We got to go through China. Why would we want to put ourselves in that predicament? So this has happened over many decades. A lot of people in Wall Street made money, there's no question, but it has weakened this country and it strengthened an adversary. We were promised that if you do most favored nation and put them in the WTO, that China would become more democratic. It's been the opposite. They're much more authoritarian today than they were 20, 25 years ago and their military is much stronger today.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis' Exclusive Town Hall on Newsmax Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/369203

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