Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis on Morning Joe

November 02, 2023

"I want to fight for people...and Donald Trump is perceived by Republicans as a fighter, but I also want to win for people. That means winning elections, but also means winning on these policy fights."

Tallahassee, FL - Ron DeSantis joined MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning. Read the highlights below.

Watch the clips from the interview here and here.

On the House aid package for Israel:

I think they should offset the funding. I haven't looked at how the intricacies of the IRS funding would work. I mean, CBO, obviously, is a forecast. But I do think we have to stand with Israel. They're our strongest ally in the Middle East. They're going to fight this war. They're not asking us to fight it for them. But we have a relationship. And we need to back their ability to ultimately defeat Hamas unconditionally, once and for all, so that this never happens again. The same time, you can do that, while also just acknowledging this country is insolvent. We've got 33+ trillion dollars in debt, you're going to have to make some decisions at some point about how we're spending money. So I think if the House is doing that, I think that that is appropriate. I think that that's showing the urgency of our fiscal situation, while also recognizing we have to step up and help a very strong ally.

On holding the federal bureaucracy accountable:

You need to bring in serious accountability. I think back about some of the things that have happened with this government, the Afghanistan debacle, no one has been fired. As a result of that. That was one of the biggest fiascos that we've ever had. You've had government fall on its face time and time again, and yet, there's no accountability. So we do need an era of accountability. Obviously, we're going to do that within the context of the rule of law in the Constitution. But I want to make very clear to voters that I'm not just going to go up there and be nice about it. We're going to take very swift action to resize this government and re-constitutionalize that, but everyone should want to be very active in the process. But ultimately, you know, this is about making your voice heard at the ballot box and that we're going to do.

On his foreign policy plan and how China is a top threat to the US:

Well, first, just on the border, I just got to point out he's not actually providing money that would stop the problem. He's providing money to process more illegal aliens coming in, which I think would probably end up exacerbating and inviting the problem. I gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Friday laying out our national security strategy, we're going to focus on the Indo Pacific, what Biden's doing there is inadequate to deter China, that ultimately is the top threat to this country. I think Russia is hostile to the United States. But I think their threat, Europe is a more pressing part of their threat. So we need to have the Europeans step up.

On the need to balance the budget in Washington:

I think if you look at the unified government, over W Bush and under Trump, Republican unified government, they threw out all the fiscal constraints, that was not something people cared about. If you talked about it at that time, it was like they didn't want to hear it. The minute Republicans get out of power, then all of a sudden, they'd beat their chests, they become real fiscal hawks when it comes to all of this stuff. Now, part of the reason I think under Bush is because we had the lengthy wars, which were, which were clearly mismanaged, and we spent a lot of money that in hindsight, we shouldn't have done. But you know, I was there for the first two years of the Trump administration. There was a faction of us in the in the House that was urging him not to just sign these big omnibus spending bills, but he signed every spending bill that ever got to his desk, culminating in a big gusher of spending his last year in office, which of course, ended up adding $7.8 trillion to the debt in one four year period, as a president. Under the four years of Trump, he added almost as much to the debt as Obama did in eight years. And so there was no sense of fiscal restraint there. And so I make the point. And when I'm in Iowa, New Hampshire, that this is both parties. Republican voters do not believe it's just the Democrats because they've been let down before and I get a lot of cheers, when I point out that it has been both parties, and you can get it done. Like in Florida, we've paid down 25% of the debt since I've been governor. We've run surpluses, cut taxes and all that. But you do have to make some tough decisions. You can't please everyone all the time. And I think that the DC Republicans have bad short term thinking when it comes to our fiscal situation.

On the importance of showing up to debates:

We are not going to win as Republicans, Joe, by adopting the strategy that Biden did, being in the basement during the 2020 campaign. That's effectively what Donald Trump's doing, he is refusing to debate, we've got a lot of issues that this country is facing right now [that] require steady focus, strong leadership, you got to be able to defend your record. And you got to be able to articulate how you're going to take the country in a better direction. And so my view about why you should debate I mean, look, I want to fight for people, you know, and Donald Trump is perceived by Republicans as a fighter, but I also want to win for people. That means winning elections, but also means winning on these policy fights. Donald Trump even now is saying his famous promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, that he never intended to do it. Because he said that Mexico, there was no mechanism to do it, you actually could have taxed the remittances. And that's what I would do. But we need to lead forward, you got to have a unifying vision, so he should do it, but I would note this. I mean, you mentioned some of the ever since I ran, there's always the narratives, Trump is spending massive amounts of money attacking me in Iowa. He's had to go campaign in Iowa. So if he's saying he's so far up, he doesn't need to debate that is belied by their activity on the ground there.

On the DOD's abortion tourism and Senator Tuberville's actions in the Senate:

DESANTIS: Actually, I think that what the DoD is doing, I don't think they're following the law with respect to abortion tourism. I don't think taxpayer money should be spent on that. We have a very weak defense industrial base, we've got huge problems with recruiting. And so their focus on that I don't think it's consistent with the law. I also think it's misguided. I would also point out that you can promote people on an individual basis, I think the Senate has decided they have not wanted to move a lot of those. But if there's people that are mission-critical, they can move it in spite of what Senator Tuberville did. But I think fighting back on the Pentagon, going outside the boundaries of the law, I think that's Congress's appropriate role of oversight and checks and balances.

MIKA: So to answer the question, do you think that Senator Tuberville should lift the blockade that he's put on military promotions?

DESANTIS: No, because I think that he were trying to force a change in Pentagon policy, to conform them to the law, while at the same time he has allowed individuals to be appointed. So if there are mission-critical promotions, bring them before the Senate, I think he's been very clear that that's appropriate. And I know that they have done that, in certain instances.

On Trump's attacks on the pro-life movement and the importance of putting the American people first:

It's a stark difference from his speech at the March for Life when he was president. I mean, I was not what he was saying then. He said that he was one of us in terms of being a pro-life President. Now he's saying protections when there is a detectable heartbeat for an unborn child is somehow a terrible thing. That is not what Iowa Republicans believe. I think more and more we're going to be familiar with those comments over the next couple of months. But it is a flip on where he had been previously. And I think it raises the issue of, you go back to 2015 2016, the Trump of that time, he was clicking as a candidate. I mean, he had energy, he was out there riffing very, he was controversial, but in a way that was edgy. And I think people said, 'You know what this political system needs to be shaken up.' This is a different Donald Trump in2023. I don't think he's got the same energy. I don't think he's got the same pizzazz. It 2015 and '16 was about America first. I think this campaign is more about Trump first. And it's more about his issues. And I think we got to focus on the American people's issues.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis on Morning Joe Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367744

Simple Search of Our Archives