Remarks at the Republican Party of Iowa's Annual Lincoln Dinner in in Des Moines, Iowa
Hello, Iowa! Are you ready to send Joe Biden back to his basement in Delaware on a permanent vacation? I can promise you this: in my White House, there will be no cocaine allowed in the White House. And look, my son's only five years old. So he's not going to be lining his pockets with money from foreign governments. So don't worry about that. It's great to be here. I want to thank Chairman Kauffman. I want to thank all the great legislators in the state of Iowa for their great work. And I want to commend your outstanding Governor Kim Reynolds for her leadership, leading this great state.
Our country is in decline and Joe Biden is the custodian of that decline. I'm running for President because we, as Republicans, cannot be content with simply managing the decline of our country a little bit better than the Democrats. We must reverse American decline. We must restore this country to greatness, and we must provide our country with a new birth of freedom. To do that, it requires vision, it requires courage, and it requires leadership. That's exactly what we did in the state of Florida. Everything I promised people I would do, we did. And we delivered more than what we promised. We expanded Second Amendment rights. We enacted the Heartbeat Bill, we cut taxes by $2.7 billion. We have paid down 25% of our state's debt. We have the number one rated economy in the country, number one in new business formations. We have eliminated critical race theory from our K-12 schools. We have enacted a Parent's Bill of Rights to protect the rights of parents. And we have held criminals accountable by enacting the death penalty for pedophiles, and our crime rate is at a 50-year low. And when it came time to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we refused to let the state of Florida descend into some type of Fauci-an dystopia. We stood strong against the mob, against the left, against the bureaucracy. And we fought for our people's rights. We fought for their jobs, we fought to have our kids in school. And as a result, the state of Florida has never done better. We will deliver those results in Washington.
We will repeal Bidenomics so that middle class people actually have a chance to get ahead in this country again. We will stop the Congress from borrowing and spending this country into oblivion. We need a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. We need term limits for members of Congress so that we can have a citizen legislature again. We will get the bureaucracy off the back of small businesses in this country. And I'm going to issue an order to all agencies in DC to reduce their DC footprint by at least 50%.
We reject policies like the Green New Deal. We will develop our own natural resources and we will be energy independent, because we don't want to help our enemies. I pledge to be the president to finally solve the issue of the southern border. We're sending the military to the border. Yes, we will build a border wall and we will use deadly force against the Mexican drug cartels because I'm sick of them poisoning our kids, I'm sick of them killing our citizens, and I'm sick of them trafficking people into this country. That ends on January 20th, 2025.
We will usher in a reckoning for those like Dr. Fauci, who perpetrated COVID-19 lock downs and mandate policies. Those policies were destructive for this country. They hurt people, they hurt our economy, and we still haven't fully recovered from it. You don't coddle bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci, you bring them in and you say, 'you are fired' and we are going to hold them accountable for what they did.
We are going to ensure that parents in this country have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and well-being of their kids. Schools and systems are important, but they do not supersede the rights of parents. We want education in this country, not indoctrination in this country. We got it done in Florida and we need to get it done nationally.
And I got Kamala Harris coming down to Florida trying to create phony narratives because she understands: Florida has stood up to the left's agenda. We have beat the left's agenda in the state of Florida. And so she thinks she can come down and lie about what we're doing in the state of Florida. I'm not budging an inch. We are going to fight back against these people. And we are not letting them take over our schools any longer. We are going to get this right as a nation.
We will also end the weaponization of federal agencies like the FBI and the Department of Justice. On day one with me as president, you will have a new director of the FBI—long overdue.
You will see a housecleaning at the Department of Justice and we are personally going to hold them accountable. We are not going to allow them to target people like parents going to a school board meeting, pro-life demonstrators just speaking their mind or are targeting religious groups like observant Catholics. Weaponization ends on day one of our administration and we are going to re-constitutionalize this federal government once and for all.
I'm proud to be the only candidate running for president on either side of the aisle this year that's actually served in a war. I served in Iraq as a naval officer alongside Navy Seals in Fallujah and Ramadi and places like that. Not exactly Club Med, but it was duty that called.
And, you know, I had opportunities to do a lot of other things in my life, I was a blue collar kid, I worked minimum wage jobs, didn't necessarily have anything handed to me. But I put myself in a position to do well, but then 911 happened, all volunteer forces—I said I need to do my part. So we served. And when you wear the cloth of your country, you wear that American flag on your uniform, you serve beside fellow patriots, and you serve a mission greater than yourself. That's a noble calling. And I thank all the veterans in Iowa and throughout this country who have worn the uniform because at the end of the day, a veteran is somebody who at one point in their life has written a check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including that individuals life.
We have a situation now in this country where our recruiting into our military is at the lowest level since the end of the draft during the Vietnam War. And the reason why –and I have veterans coming up to me saying 'Governor, I don't know that I'd want my kids or grandkids to join today's military.' Why? Because they're indulging in social experimentation. They're pursuing political agendas, woke ideology, they've taken their eye off the ball. As commander in chief, on day one, we are going to rip the politics out of the military. We're going to end the woke agenda, and we are going to restore the military to mission first. And we are going to make people proud to serve again and join again. And that's going to make our country stronger.
So here's the thing. We're not getting a mulligan on 2024. We either win this election and make good on all the promises that we're making, or the Democrats are going to throw this country into a hole that's going to take us a generation to come out of.
I believe that decline is a choice. I believe success is attainable. And I know that freedom is worth fighting for. This is our chance in 2024 to send the Biden-Harris administration to the dustbin of history where it belongs.
We have to rise to the occasion. We have to fight the good fight. We have to finish the race. And we have to keep the faith. The time for excuses is over. We must get the job done. I will get the job done. God bless you all. Thank you so much.
We're doing all 99 counties in Iowa, because this caucus demands that you earn it, and you got to go meet the folks. So you'll see me everywhere. God bless you all. Thank you so much. Let's win in 2024.
Ron DeSantis, Remarks at the Republican Party of Iowa's Annual Lincoln Dinner in in Des Moines, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/364051