Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Ron DeSantis on Morning Joe

December 18, 2023

"We're going to have the biggest organization and support going into a caucus that anyone can remember."

DES MOINES, Iowa – Ron DeSantis was live this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe. The highlights are below.

Watch the full interview HERE.

On the strong support in Iowa one month before the caucus:

Here in Iowa, this is all about showing up and lining up people to caucus for you. So we go, we've been to all 99 counties, we get people to sign the cards to say they're going to come, we're going to have the biggest organization and support going into a caucus that anyone can remember. That ultimately is what does it. I also think people here in Iowa and in New Hampshire, they expect you to come and answer their questions, they expect you to come and ask for their vote, and I think what Donald Trump will do, he'll parachute in for 45 minutes, an hour, give a speech, and then just leave. We've actually listened to folks, answered their questions, and taken in a lot of their advice about what they want to see about the country. So I think you're going to see that on caucus night. And historically, you know, these polls in the caucus are tough because it's tough to identify who's actually going to go there for three hours and caucus, and also what happens in the caucus sites because people give speeches about the candidates, different people may change. We've got the best organization for that, all the counties and precincts organize. And so we're excited about what we've been able to do. We have the Governor, Kim Reynolds', endorsement. We got endorsed by Bob Vander Plaats from The Family Leader. You know, those are really good indications. And I will say this, the people on the ground here, you know, they kind of will just shake their head at some of the polls because, you know, they know the areas where there was rabid Trump support, say in 2016 and 2020, and they say that things have changed on the ground. And I think that's true for both Iowa and New Hampshire.

On reining in the out-of-control federal spending:

That COVID panic really led to not just the $2 trillion in the Cares Act, but then the $2.2 trillion in December of 2020. We'd never spent that much money and people were saying at the time that somehow there wasn't going to be impacts, and you didn't see inflation right away. But you don't get inflation for 18 to 20, 24 months after you see those types of events. So I think it was a combination of both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, obviously, the Trump administration, and then Biden came in and did another $1.9 trillion in March of 2023. But the government induced the rising prices, that's just the fact and both parties have their fingerprints on it. And we got to start spending money more in line with sustainability, we should not have locked in the levels of spending that we have since COVID. I don't think it's sustainable. And we've obviously added debt at a record number.

We will lean in, we'll use the veto pen, we'll exercise leadership and get people on the same page. But I do think that if you look back, I mean, I remember President Trump, you know, telling me look, you know, no one's ever lost an election because of the deficit or spending too much money. And that actually may be true, but I think that's not where we have a luxury of being at this point. And just the sheer amount of increase in the debt. I mean, you turn to the 21st century, our debt was $5 trillion, $6 trillion. And now here we are less than a quarter century later, and we're at $33 trillion. So this has been a unique failure.

On how then-President Trump failed to deliver on his promises to conservatives:

I think Donald Trump, when he was president, I think that he really didn't take some of the action that he could have constitutionally taken. And so I understand there's a narrative saying he's going to be much different this next term, but I look back, you know, what didn't he do? You know, he didn't move forcefully to build the border wall. That languished for years. He didn't fire people like Anthony Fauci from the COVID task force when many conservatives, including me in Florida, were saying they needed to go a different direction. He even gave Fauci an award his last day in office. A lot of the people he appointed he's since trashed after leaving office, but he could have fired them. He didn't really take any action to reform the bureaucracy or to curb the administrative state. So I think what is being said would be him acting in ways that actually were not how he acted before. He deferred a lot of his presidency to some of these people that he now criticizes.

On the crisis at our southern border:

I can tell you this, when I'm around in Iowa, and New Hampshire and South Carolina for that matter, one of the most frequent questions I get is, you know, why is it that they're sending money overseas when they're not willing to take care of problems at home such as our border? And it is a national security issue. And I think the Republicans should absolutely -- and it's not just money, it's really changing the law and changing the policy so things like parole can't be abused. But there's no question that that border, our open border has made us more vulnerable. I think they need to put their foot down. What they shouldn't do, though, is negotiate some type of deal where there's a mirage of border security, and it turns out nothing changes. That's just Lucy with the football, you know, Charlie Brown whiffing again. And Republican voters, I think, would be very, very upset if there's some type of phony deal that doesn't actually get the job done at the border.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - Ron DeSantis on Morning Joe Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/370682

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