Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis on the Hugh Hewitt Show

October 31, 2023

"Donald Trump is spending a million dollars attacking me in Iowa. Haley's Super PAC is spending big money to attack me in Iowa. You don't do that unless you view me as the threat."

Tallahassee, FL - Ron DeSantis today joined the Hugh Hewitt Show live. The highlights are below.

Listen to the full interview HERE.

On his increasing momentum in Iowa:

I can tell you this you about Iowa, you know, we looked at that poll. It did say that I have the highest favorability and the highest percentage of Iowans that are considering voting for me and I clearly have a path to win the caucus. I don't think anyone else other than me or Trump has that path based on the underlying data. But put that aside--Donald Trump is spending a million dollars attacking me in Iowa. Haley's Super PAC is spending big money to attack me in Iowa. You don't do that unless you view me as the threat. So I think it's fine. Some of the public data that gets put out--how accurate it's been over the years, I think it's definitely open to question, but look at how the campaigns behaved. And if Donald Trump hadn't showed up, he would not be spending that kind of money there. If we weren't doing well, we would not be the focal point of the attacks. And so I think what we see in Iowa is very positive. We've got 20,000 already committed to caucus, and we still have--most of the vast majority of voters haven't even made up their mind yet. So we're going to keep doing what we're doing. We've built a strong base of support. And then it's all about bringing it in for a landing as people make their decisions. But I'm just happy that because of the work we've done, we have the widest possible pool of voters to draw from of any candidate that's running, just based off that poll yesterday.

On Israel's right to defend itself to the hilt:

They're our top ally in the Middle East by far. We have a great relationship economically, culturally, all these other things. They are facing an existential threat to their existence. Hamas would wipe Israel off the entire map if they could. In fact, the textbooks that are taught to kids in the Gaza Strip do not even have Israel listed on the map. So if they don't, if they just do glancing blows, and they don't deal with this finally, then they're just going to face additional attacks in the future. We know that it'll be a vicious cycle. So just end it. We've seen, since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2006 -- and you know, a lot of people act like Gaza is occupied by Israel, which is totally false. Israel forcibly removed a lot of its own citizens in 2006 and forced them to leave. The people of Gaza had an opportunity to make something of that. They cast their lot in with Hamas. Hamas has used money that's flowed there to build a massive terrorist infrastructure so that they could kill Israelis. And so, I agree with Senator Cotton. They got to get the job done.

On the need to secure the border and protect Americans from terrorism:

I think the problems are real for terrorism. Obviously, you have a lot of deaths from narcotics that's coming across the border, you have criminal aliens coming across the border, you have a lot of sex and human trafficking. So there's a whole mass of problems and misery that's being unleashed because of what Biden's policy at the border is. But we know that there are a certain number, 140 On Terror Watch List, that's just what the administration will admit. So there's definitely more than that. And yes, Iran has sent, other Middle Eastern countries have people coming, China, Russia. If you think about people that want to do us harm, there's no way they are going to allow that southern border to go unnoticed. That is an obvious vulnerability for this country. And of course our enemies are going to exploit it. I've said publicly, even before the Hamas attack on Israel, that there would be a terrorist attack on this country that we would be able to trace to the southern border. And I always say I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think the math lies. I think you've just had too many people have an opportunity to come in the country that mean us ill.

On the key contrasts between him and Nikki Haley:

I think on the Tuberville thing, we have a defense establishment that has let our defense industrial base atrophy. It's not up to the task of meeting the challenges, and yet they want to fund abortion tourism. So it's a total, total disgrace what they're doing, and it's right to do what Tuberville did. And of course, there are officers getting confirmed, it's just on an individual basis. The other thing I think we had a big difference on is China. She really brought Chinese businesses in when she was governor. She had given land near a military base, even, and really, this was a huge part for her economic development strategy. In Florida, we did the opposite. I banned China from purchasing land in the state, we got rid of the Confucius Institutes at our universities, and we policed the ability of China to put other money into our universities because they've done that in a lot of places. So I think we have differences there. The other thing we had a difference on, and she's attacked me over, is the whole Disney, where we had the parents' rights in education bill, the issue was should you have sexuality and transgender ideology in elementary school. Disney worked very aggressively to try to make that happen in Florida. I stood up to them and said, no, we've got to stand with the kids. She said Disney should go to South Carolina. She took their side on that. I think we've got to stand with our kids. I mean, parents need to have their rights respected in this country. And if we can't get it right on to say that it's wrong to tell a second grader that they can't just change their gender, or it's wrong to tell them they can change their gender, parents don't want that, and our society's just not going to work. So I think that's another one. Are you willing to stand up to powerful interests if it goes against the well -being of your citizens? And I've shown a willingness to do that time and time again.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis on the Hugh Hewitt Show Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367767

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