Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis on the Brian Kilmeade Show

October 18, 2023

"They have a right to protect their people and they have a right to see this through."

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ron DeSantis joined Fox News Radio's Brian Kilmeade today on The Brian Kilmeade Show. The highlights are below.

Listen to the full interview HERE.

On the media's fake narrative about the Gaza hospital bombing:

You had media organizations jumping the gun, pursuing a narrative about this hospital, basically taking the word of Hamas for it that this was somehow an IDF strike on a hospital, when in fact, it was a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad that misfired and hit the hospital. And so, the media ran with that, that stoked a lot of rage throughout the region, and it was false. So I think that shows Israel what they're up against because they obviously have to conduct operations to be able to eliminate Hamas and eliminate that threat once and for all. But they are going to be fighting in an environment where so much of the media is going to be arrayed against them, so much of the Intelligentsia, internationally, United Nations, all these different things. And it's just important that America stand with them, have moral clarity, and say you know what, they were the victims of this attack, they have a right to protect their people, and they have a right to see this through.

On taking on Donald Trump on the debate stage:

One, I think just the fact that he's been missing in action on so much of this stuff. He doesn't think he needs to go out and debate, and I don't think that that's what I'm seeing on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire. I think those voters think you have to earn their vote. So I'm showing up, not only at debates, but I've done 80 of the 99 counties in Iowa. I'm going to do all 99. I'll be the only candidate to do that. And we're starting a big New Hampshire push with the town halls and everything. So that's really what you have to do. You know, on this issue, what we've seen here, you know, I've been leading on it. We lead on the refugees. Now every candidate's followed suit. We've led on planning the flag saying don't send aid to the Gaza Strip, all that's going to do is Hamas is going to commandeer that and they're going to use that. You seek the release of hostages and the unconditional defeat of Hamas. And that should be our focus, not sending money that they're going to be able to use. So we're really leading on these issues. I think the debate will show that we've been able to lead on these issues. And look, people are going to have to make a judgement. Now that we're getting closer, you are seeing more voters pay closer attention. And I think the question is, you know, we've got a win this election in 2024. I've got a great record of political success. But more importantly than that, we've got to deliver on all these things, Brian, we talk about it -- you know, this border, remember, that was Donald Trump's number one promise. And had he built the wall and have Mexico pay for it, Biden would not have been able to get away with all the nonsense he's done. So we've got to deliver. And I have a record of delivering on 100% of my promises as governor in a way that no governor has been able to do. And we'll do the same thing as President. That's what people want to see.

On why the US should not accept Gazan refugees:

The point that Brennan was trying to make, and then Nikki Haley tried to make it this weekend but she's backtracked, is that well, you know, you have some people with Hamas, but then you have others that are more interested in freedom and all this stuff. And that's actually not the question. Obviously, you wouldn't import a terrorist. But if you're importing people from Gaza that have been taught to hate Jews, that don't believe Israel has a right to exist, that that think that, you know, Israel needs to be destroyed, we're importing pathologies from that part of the world to our country. And that's not in the interest of the American people. The American people will not benefit from that. So, I've said absolutely not. Now, I agree with you. I think most Americans, Republicans, independents, and now even a lot of Democrats understand when you see some of these protests and these demonstrations in our own country -- when the blood wasn't even dry from these Israelis who were massacred over there, you had people taking to the streets praising Hamas, in defense of Hamas. How do we get to that point where that happened? So, I think people are like, we've really got to take seriously who's coming into our country. Yes, illegally across the border. But who are we intentionally importing with some of the things that have happened over the last many years? And so, that's the right decision. Now the elites, the elites don't care about the American people. They have their own agenda. So elite media and other elites in government, they would have a different view than me. But my view, I think, is what has support from broad cross sections of the American public.

On the Pro-Hamas protests at our nation's collegiate institutions:

It's unbelievable. You know, I joke with people. I say, on the campaign trail, I'm like, look, I'm one of the few people that have gone to Harvard and Yale and came out more conservative than when I went in. And that's not easy to do because of the leftist viewpoints. But I will say, as left as it was when I was going through that -- and I rejected it, and it kind of made me more conservative -- it's gotten a lot worse in the last couple of decades. I mean, it's gotten to the point, you know, I don't think after 9/11 you had protests on Ivy League campuses praising what had happened, praising the terrorists, or doing anything like that. Now, you have protesters praising brutal terrorists on those campuses, signing letters. And I think it's totally appropriate -- and indeed, these businesses should be doing that -- if they're students that are signing that in defense of Hamas, they get offers of employment rescinded, they get fired from internships, and all those other things. That's a no brainer. I mean, just imagine how Ivy League universities would respond or how they've responded in other situations. This one is one of the most egregious things you can imagine. And yet, they're so quiet with it. I will tell you this, though, Brian, in Florida, if you look at the statements that were put out by the University of Florida President, Florida State president, they came out very strongly against Hamas and very strongly in favor of Israel and our Jewish students. And I was proud to see that. We've worked really hard to get our universities away from being indoctrination centers and focusing on the classical mission of pursuing truth and preparing our kids to be citizens of the Republic. And I think you see it paying off in how they responded to this.

On how President DeSantis would reverse Biden's disastrous foreign policies:

The terrorism that has been fomented in the Middle East in the last 25 years, overwhelmingly, has been Iran. I mean, when I was in Iraq serving on active duty, there's a lot of attention on the Sunni jihadists, the al Qaeda in Iraq, and they were a force, but most of our own combat deaths at the time were from Iranian-funded militias, people that were directed by Soleimani. So they have a lot of American blood on their hands. They did the Beirut bombing on our Marines in '83. They funded Hezbollah on that. This is just what they do. So, what Biden needs to do, he needs to reverse his policies that have given sustenance to the regime, put them in a financial box -- that's one of the reasons I want to increase our energy production at home. Because when we're energy dominant, that's bad for Russia, Iran, China, and Venezuela. If you pursue a green New Deal in this country, just understand, you are benefiting Iran, you are benefiting Russia, you are benefiting China. So, reversing the nation's energy policy, being independent and dominant, I think is very important. But I think it's choking them off on that. And I do think getting a Saudi-Israeli peace deal, I think it's complicated now, given what's going on, but I think Biden dropped the ball on that. He could have done that in his first year. That creates the front of the Gulf Arab states, Israel, and the United States against Iran. It makes it harder for the Iranians to do what they want to do in the region when you have a united front.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis on the Brian Kilmeade Show Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367808

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