Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis Onstage with Erick Erickson at The Gathering

August 19, 2023

Ron DeSantis today joined Erick Erickson onstage at The Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia. The highlights are below.

Watch the full interview HERE.

On how being a dad impacts his policies:

Now in terms of how I see the world, it definitely impacts...the stuff we've done in education. I would have done this anyways as a governor, but the fact that I've got a six, a five and a three year old, we just started school Wednesday... So when you see things about indoctrination in the curriculum, when we had the fight against Disney about should there be sexualization of the curriculum in elementary school, of course, I think I always would have said no to that. But having the kids I'm like, H-E- double hockey sticks no. We're not doing that. I want to have school be school, I don't want an agenda shoved down their throat... so we definitely are sensitive to the rights of parents, the ability of parents to choose the best school and we have universal school choice in Florida now that we just enacted my most recent legislative session.

On the upcoming debate:

Who knows what'll end up happening? We'll be prepared either way. But I'm excited about doing it because most of what you do in this process is filtered through media. And seldom do you get the opportunity to speak directly to this many people. It'll probably be 10 million, maybe 50, who knows? Maybe even more. So gives you an opportunity to deliver your message, and then to answer questions that that are appropriate. I hope that we will be focused on the future of the country, rather than some of the other static that's out there right now. Because a lot of the static, a lot of the thing about looking backwards, that is not going to help us secure this border, that is not going to help these middle class families who are struggling [to] even afford groceries... not going to help them get better. It's not going to help us be able to rein in these federal agencies that have abused their power. It's not going to help with any of that. What'll help with all of that is if we're able to carry a message into the fall of 2024, holding Biden accountable for his failures and showing the American people how we're going to reverse this country's decline. And as the candidate, I will be able to do that free of a lot of the other static that's out there and a lot of the inclination to look backwards.

On his plan to secure the border:

We now have 10s of 1000s of people that are dying from fentanyl overdose that's all being brought in because the border is not secure, and the cartels have more control over our border so than we do. And that's just a lack of will. It's a lack of interest by our ruling class. When the illegals show up to Manhattan or Martha's Vineyard, they're showing up in neighborhoods where [these] liberal elites who have talked about open borders, they've talked about they should be sanctuary [cities]. But this has all just been virtue signaling because they never had to deal with the consequences of the policies. Then when they have to, they don't like it. One of the things that I said I'll do as president, which yes, we'll declare it a national emergency, I'm going to send military down there, we'll build a wall, we'll do remain in Mexico, stop the invasion, we'll do all that. But when you have cartels operating the way they are, they're operating as akin to foreign terrorist organizations, because they're killing our people. They're poisoning our people. So we're going to authorize the use of deadly force against the cartels. If you have somebody coming in with the fentanyl there, and the backpack, they even break through the border wall where there is wall. If they're doing that, that's the last thing they they're going to be able to do because we're going to leave them stone cold dead at the border. We're not putting up with it anymore.

On slaying the federal bureaucracy:

The Founding Fathers designed three branches of government. Executive, legislative, judicial. They did not design a fourth branch of government, an administrative state, that has now grown to where it's exercising authority over us with impunity, regardless in many instances of the outcomes of elections, and they're not held constitutionally accountable. So that creates bad things for society in terms of the policies that they're pursuing... And the question is, who governs? Do we govern ourselves? If we govern ourselves, that means that the things that affect your lives are voted on by your elected representatives, so that if you don't like what they're doing, you can show them the door. When it's done by nameless, faceless bureaucrats who will never stand for election, they're exercising power without proper accountability of We the American People. So we need to return the government back to We The People.

On countering growing threats from China:

I think just what we've seen with our national security posture is, we've got a problem on our hands with the Chinese Communist Party. This country embraced policies that really have empowered China for many, many decades. We were told that it made them more democratic, that it would be more markets for our manufacturing, even though China took most of our manufacturing, and that China would play by rules, but yet they manipulate their currency, they steal our technology, all that. So they're close to a peer competitive competitor of ours. Their economy may pass us within the next 10 years based on the current course and trajectory. That's a problem for us economically, because if they're the dominant economic power, that is going to be something that's going to be felt in the household of every American family, and it will affect our freedoms. But from a national security perspective, we've never had a competitor in our lifetimes that could match us economically. So now you're in a situation where you're not only dealing with somebody that would... maybe even surpass us economically, but that our economy has been dependent upon their economy, for things that are really important. You know, not just sneakers, we're getting pharmaceuticals, we're getting things that go into our defense, industrial base things that you really need with NASA for our national survival... We're a country with an economy, not the other way around. American people are not just cogs in the wheel of some global economic enterprise. You're American citizens citizens of a republic.

On what it's like to campaign as a family:

I've done 38 of the 99 counties [in Iowa]. The kids though have been with us at least half of those counties. So they're going around and they're going to a county fair in a really rural part of Iowa... going to pet some big cow... But those are just the things that you get to do when you're when you're with them. The kids love doing this. And we wouldn't want to put them through [it] if they didn't like it. They do like it. But for us, a lot of it's just being able to spend time with them. Because you know, we could be in Tallahassee spending time with them, great. If we're somewhere else, you know, we want to do that. And so it's really been fun to be able to make that happen.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis Onstage with Erick Erickson at The Gathering Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/364155

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