Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Ron DeSantis Holds Press Conference with Bob Vander Plaats and Congressman Chip Roy After Fox News Town Hall

January 09, 2024

"You don't win as a Republican when you don't stand for anything. You got to have core convictions."

DES MOINES, Iowa – After tonight's Fox News Town Hall, Ron DeSantis took questions from members of the press alongside Iowa faith leader Bob Vander Plaats and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). Highlights are below.

Watch the full press conference HERE.

On how New York cares more about illegal immigrants than their own students:

I think it's disgraceful. I mean, just think about it. You're appearing in the Bronx. Was it Brooklyn? Brooklyn...you probably have a lot of single moms who are the breadwinner, so they got to work during the day. Your kids are supposed to go to school, and then someone tells you 'Sorry, your kids have to stay home.' Why? Was there some type of real significant storm or some emergency? Was there a flu outbreak? Well, why are they having to stay home? They're having to stay at home because the state government is commandeering, or the city government is commandeering the school to house illegal aliens. You talk about putting Americans last-- you're depriving these kids an in person education to be able to house people that don't have a right to be here to begin with? That's Joe Biden's America in a nutshell. So I think it's disgraceful that that's happening. But I think this. You know, when I'm President, this immigration stuff, we're building a big consensus in this country, consensus in New York City--these are very liberal voters, usually. But they are, almost all of them, saying this can't go on like this. You can't just have schools overtaken, hospitals overrun. People are coming in, we don't even know who they are. So far, this has been one of Biden's probably the biggest failures simply because he has more control over this. There's certain things the President may not have direct control over. He is causing this. He could stop it. And he's choosing not to stop.

On Donald Trump's comment that he wants the economy to crash:

I don't want the economy to crash because people's livelihoods depend on their 401k's.People's jobs—If the economy crashes, people get thrown out of work, businesses would go under, I don't want to see that happening. I want people to do well, that's what we've done. You know, our economy is performing better than any other state in the country. Our unemployment rate is 60% less than California, for example. 40% less than New York. We now have more manufacturing jobs than the state of New York because we have more people employed in New York for the first time in history. And people wouldn't expect that given we've got a lot of retirees in the state of Florida. This is very important for people's lives. They're working hard and they're not able to get ahead. They're working hard. They're doing everything right and they're falling further and further behind. We want to lift people up, we want to give them an opportunity that hard work will pay off, that nothing's going to be handed to you. But if you're grinding, you're making the most of your God-give ability in America, you can do better. So I want people to do well. I don't want to see people's retirements flushed away, I don't want to see people's businesses fail. I want to see people succeed. And we have reached our potential in this country. Florida shows when we talk a lot of the trends, I think we're doing much better.

On why he is the most electable candidate, not Nikki Haley:

You don't win as a Republican when you don't stand for anything. You got to have core convictions, you got to go in bold colors, not failed tests. So that's how you get the people to turn out for you that you need to be able to win. I noticed, you know, we have we have identified her [Nikki Haley] saying that her inspiration to run for office was Hillary Clinton. She's now going around saying that that's a lie. She wrote that in her book. She said that she had seen Hillary, that inspired her to run for office and make her voice heard. And so she basically doesn't want to deal with the record. And she just said, 'You're lying. You're lying' when literally, she's saying that on video and writing in the book. And so I think that she is kowtowing to folks that are not going to inspire our voters to come out in sufficient numbers to be able to match the Democrats... it's like every day she answers questions, something happens where she's putting her foot in her mouth. We all remember about Republican candidates who are elevated by the media in the primary, how that ends up working out in the general election. Because the minute it would be Republican versus a Democrat, it's all going to be against her. Republican voters know that. I think she's shown she just can't handle the scrutiny and can't defend her record. That's why she rarely answers questions. I guess she's not even answering voter's questions anymore.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Ron DeSantis Holds Press Conference with Bob Vander Plaats and Congressman Chip Roy After Fox News Town Hall Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370610

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