Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Ron DeSantis on 'Barn Talk' Podcast with Sawyer and Tork Whisler

December 28, 2023

"I don't want to be liked in Washington [DC]. I don't care about the media, the bureaucrats, any of that. I want to return this government to We the People."

Des Moines, IA - Ron DeSantis joined father-son duo Tork and Sawyer Whisler for a sit-down interview on their podcast, 'Barn Talk' filmed from their barn in Washington, Iowa. The highlights are below.

Watch the full podcast episode here.

On how the border crisis impacts Iowans:

There's a narrative that, oh, if you're not a border town or a border state, then why would you care about it? But I was in small towns in Iowa where they have drugs coming in from the border, they've had issues with illegal aliens. And I think it's also just they saw what happened in Israel with the attacks. If Israel is the most -- they have the best border security in the world -- if they are having a massacre of people, we've had 8 million people come illegally. You don't think any of them are terrorists? Of course they've sent terrorists. And so I think that there's just a real understanding that this is just ridiculous, what's going on. It's harmful for our country, and it needs to be fixed. And, you know, it's humiliating that we can't even defend our own borders. You know, we will send money across the world, but we won't even take care of our own business here at home? How does that work?

On the importance of Kim Reynolds' endorsement:

It meant a lot. It's interesting because people would ask me, as I started to become more nationally known and I was getting a lot of attention -- a lot of negative attention because I was bucking Fauci on COVID -- but that turned me into somebody that Republicans were looking to, hey, this guy's fighting. And then we fought and beat Disney and we did all these other things. People would then come to me like, well, you know, why aren't other governor's doing this, or who else is out there? And I would always point to Kim, because Kim really came in, and you know, she had a tough election like I did in '18, and she took a lot of the tough decisions during COVID having kids in school and whatnot, she faced a lot of flak, and she's been able to deliver really, really big results. So I've been telling people this for many, many years because she's earned it, and she deserves it. And then to be able to get her to support me is a big deal. I think Iowa caucus-goers, when they see that, that's a huge, huge thing because probably 99% of the people that are going to caucus have a positive opinion of Governor Reynolds.

On protecting the agriculture industry from authoritarianism:

You also have the situation where a state like California could adopt something like proposition 12, and that ends up having a devastating impact in Iowa because of the size of California's market. I don't think California should be able to dictate how people are producing pork. I mean, that's just not good for the economy. It's not the way the system was designed to work. And I want states to be able to make their own decisions, but when they're trying to do things that have an effect outside their state, well, that's a different beast there. And I think what they've done -- they do these initiatives, people don't even know what they're voting on. They have no sense of how that would impact people who are actually in the industry. It's just kind of a thing that someone gets on the ballot, it sounds good, so they do it. That is not the way you do policy, particularly. And you don't want any industry, agriculture or others, to be at the mercy of the whims of the state like California, like that is just not going to work for this country.

On how he'll deliver on his promises as president:

I don't want to be liked in Washington. I don't care about the media, the bureaucrats, any of that. I want to return this government to we the people. It's gotten way, way outside its skis. It's focusing on issues that these entrenched elites care about, and it's leaving Americans behind. And we need to change that. And I think if we change that, you're going to see success across the board. I'll take care of the border. That's one thing about me-- when I say I'm going to do something, I do it. I don't just believe in campaign slogans. We're going to get the economy in a better shape. We're going to downsize the bureaucracy. We're going to crack down on crime in these liberal areas in particular. We're going to rebuild our military. We're going to make sure education is not about indoctrination. but classical education again. So we have so much to do. I've got the energy and the aptitude to do it. I have the leadership ability to bring people together. And I can do it for two, four-year terms. I don't think one four-year term is enough because the next guy comes in and they can reverse the progress. If you want this stuff to stick for the long term, you need a two-term president.

On his family's love of college football:

So my son is five. He's like a sports nut, so he knows all this stuff about sports. So we were in Sioux City the morning of the Iowa/Michigan Big 10 championship game. And you know, we've got a crowd of people there. I get called up, I bring him up, we're waving, I'm getting ready to do my thing. And I'm like, you know what, I'm going to ask him a football question. I didn't rehearse it with him. And I was like Mason, who's going to win the Iowa versus Michigan game? And as I'm putting the microphone down in front of his face, I'm thinking to myself, if this kid chooses Michigan, he's going to get booed at age five. So I put the microphone down, and he just kind of looked, and he's like, 'Iowa.' And everyone started cheering and everyone was happy. So he has rooted for that. It's interesting now. We were in, on Sunday night, because my wife and kids had been in town campaign and recently with us, she called me, I was done at five o'clock from all our events. And so she's like, 'I'm thinking about taking the kids to Cracker Barrel.' And that obviously, in the southeast is like a big deal. But I told her, I said, 'Wait a minute, I've talked to all the people here in Iowa, they all say Machine Shed is the place to go.' So we ended up doing Machine Shed. First of all, it was excellent, but they have a whole bunch of gifts and everything to do. So my son found an Iowa State football field checkerboard. And he was so obsessed with this. So he's learned how to play checkers because of that thing. So now he's like, he's always talking about Iowa State.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Ron DeSantis on 'Barn Talk' Podcast with Sawyer and Tork Whisler Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/369180

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