Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis' Virtual Press Conference with Iowa Media

November 30, 2023

"I think Republican voters understand Biden is a spent force. He should not be running again. There's a lot of Democrats that want to remove him and put in somebody else. So I see Newsom as being one of these guys waiting in the wings."

Des Moines, IA - Ron DeSantis today held a virtual press conference with Iowa media. The highlights are below.

Watch the full press conference here.

On his debate tonight with Gavin Newsom:

I think Republican voters understand Biden is a spent force. He should not be running again. There's a lot of Democrats that want to remove him and put in somebody else. So I see Newsom as being one of these guys waiting in the wings. I think he's dancing around trying to act like he's not interested in this, but clearly trying to set him up. So the debate is less about Florida versus California, because we beat them on all the key metrics: education, economy, in-migration, crime, all these things, homelessness, you name it. But I do think it's where would the Democrats want to go in it after 2024? If it's Biden that does run and gets reelected, if it's a Harris, if it's a Newsom, that California model is really, I think, what would drive their party nationally. And that would have devastating effects on people in Iowa, as well as throughout the country, if we California-cated the entire United States of America. So it's going to be an important debate. And I'm going to be somebody that's going to be able to stand there having governed according to strong conservative principles, exercised leadership, and delivered really big results and positive results, whereas he has gone with ideology and leftist agenda over the wellbeing of his citizenry.

On visiting all 99 counties in Iowa:

We are going to be back in Iowa on Saturday. We're going to complete the full Grassley, that'll be 99 counties. We're very excited about doing that. I think you have to do it to win Iowa. I think that's what voters want to see. I think they want to be able to meet you. They didn't want to be able to ask your questions. And just the fact that we did it doesn't mean we're not going to hit a lot more counties, again, over between now and caucus night because I think that as we pulled into Thanksgiving, most voters didn't even think the really the caucuses were underway yet. I think they tend to pay attention as it gets a little closer. But we're really excited about where we are right now. Obviously the voters endorsement, we got Bob Vander Platts, we're seeing with these caucus commitments, doing everything that we need to do and I think we're in better shape by far than previous caucus winners. And so we're going to continue to take that momentum all the way to caucus night for victory.

On Donald Trump's embrace of the BLM movement:

Donald Trump, for whatever reason, has moved left on a lot of issues, famously attacking pro-life legislation. Just yesterday, he was thankful for support from BLM, which was a Marxist group that burned down a lot of American cities in 2020. That was one of the worst stretches that this country has had in many, many decades. It was a total disgrace in what happened with those riots. And so he's embracing that, which I just thought was really, really strange. And of course, when he was president, he didn't do anything to stop the BLM riots. He basically tweeted law and order but didn't actually ensure law and order. Minneapolis, some of these cities that burned to the ground, it is going to take decades for them to be able to recover from that. So he's going there, they're moving left on certain things. I don't know why he's doing that.

On why he wants to debate Donald Trump in Iowa:

Of course I want to debate him. I mean, I've been saying that from the beginning. He's not willing to debate and I think that the reason is because I mean, he's a quasi-incumbent. He's got 100% name ID, he's very famous. He's also not clicking on all cylinders as a candidate. They got him on the teleprompter. When he gets off, he makes mistakes. He's made a lot of mistakes in Iowa, when he's come on these campaign events where he kind of flies in and flies out. Him on a debate stage for two hours, I think would be something that would benefit me. But I don't think he would benefit from that. So I think they're saying he doesn't want to debate. And I don't know that it's hurt him up to this point. But as we get into the new year, we're gonna have a debate in Iowa I hope. I've been calling for it. I think we will in Iowa prior to caucus, so in the first two weeks of January, and if he doesn't show up to that, I think there's going to be a lot of caucus goers who are gonna say, well, wait a minute, how are we going to go with him when he's not even willing to come here and make the case to us? So I do think it's going to hurt him.

On why he is the best candidate to represent the faith community:

If you look at my record, we've delivered on really important issues that are important to people of faith, values voters. So yes, we have delivered pro-life legislation. I've also appointed conservative justices to the Florida Supreme Court. We now the most conservative Supreme Court in America because of my appointments. And I think that's important because the next president, a two-term president, you're likely going to have to replace justices, the justices Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas, they are the two best conservative justices on the court... And then I think it's also you know, we have a crisis right now in America, of a lack of family. Really, the family is going to be key to turning the country around. My wife and I exemplify what it means to be parents. We take our obligations very seriously. Family is of the utmost importance to us. And I think we would serve as a really positive symbol for America to have a nice young family in the White House, who really believes in the importance of faith, faith, family and freedom. So I'm a better representative of the conservative values that those voters hold, particularly as somebody who can do this for two terms, and particularly for somebody that has a record in electoral politics that is superior to any of the other candidates running.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Ron DeSantis' Virtual Press Conference with Iowa Media Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/369213

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