- Gov. Ron DeSantis emphasized his successful track record as Florida’s governor during the third Republican Primary debate, contrasting his leadership with the recent lackluster election outcomes for Republicans nationally.
- DeSantis highlighted his gubernatorial actions, including an Executive Order to assist Israel and the banning of Chinese property ownership near Florida’s critical infrastructure, as examples of decisive leadership and protecting American interests.
- DeSantis trails Former President Donald Trump by 43 points, according to a recent CBS News poll.
Seeking to distinguish himself from party rivals Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy in the race for broader national voter support, Gov. Ron DeSantis turned to his track record as the leader of Florida during the third Republican Primary debate in Miami on Wednesday night.
Appealing to national voters, DeSantis touted the red wave that washed over Florida last November—where he was re-elected by an impressive margin of nearly 20 points—as evidence that his leadership could unify the party and lead to substantial victories on a national level. DeSantis directly juxtaposed his stateside successes against a series of lackluster election outcomes for the Republicans around the country in recent election cycles, including on Tuesday night.
“We saw last night – I’m sick of Republicans losing,” said DeSantis. “In Florida, I showed how it’s done. One year ago we won a historic victory, including a massive landslide right here in Miami-Dade County. That’s how we have to do it.”
When the panel NBC News moderators posed questions about responses to the ongoing conflicts in Israel, DeSantis continued to highlight his gubernatorial resume, pointing to an Executive Order he had signed that facilitated the use of state resources to assist Israel and enabled the transportation of American hostages back to the United States.
“We had Floridians that were over there after the attack,” DeSantis said. “[Biden] left them stranded. They couldn’t get flights out. So I scrambled resources in Florida. I sent planes over to Israel, and I brought back over 700 people to safety.”
Turning stateside, DeSantis cited legislation that he championed that banned Chinese property ownership in Florida near military bases and critical infrastructure, as well as his efforts to eliminate the Confucius Institute’s presence in Florida colleges.
“In Florida, I banned China from buying land in this state. and we kicked out – their universities – And we kicked the Confucius Institutes out of our universities,” he continued. “We’ve recognized the threat, and we’ve acted swiftly and decisively.”
Though unmentioned during the event, Florida has dedicated a wide range of financial resources to the research and development of stateside semiconductor manufacturing, underscored by the governor’s past emphasis on decreasing American reliance on foreign entities for the production and importation of the chips.
“Semiconductors are a huge issue. If you look at how the supply chain works, we are overly dependent on foreign nations, including Taiwan, which is a good ally of ours but is under really serious pressure by the CCP in China, so I think the more we can do manufacturing here, the better off we’ll be,” DeSantis said in 2022.
DeSantis also said he would ban the CCP-ran social media platform TikTok, citing concerns about data sensitivity.
Remaining on domestic policy, DeSantis says he would revoke all Biden energy regulations, lower energy costs, and instill more American energy independence “on day one.”
“We will reverse American decline by reversing Biden’s America last energy agenda, eliminating reliance on hostile nations for energy, and putting the economic interests of Americans before the radical left’s ideological agenda,” said the governor.
DeSantis still trails Former President Donald Trump — who once again skirted the debate and held a competing rally in Hialeah, a city within Miami-Dade County — in all polls, with a recent tabulation conducted by CBS News painting a 43-point margin between Trump and DeSantis.
“Unless you’re a fan of cheap knockoffs or out-of-tune tribute bands, tonight’s GOP debate was a complete waste of time and money,” said Trump’s campaign in a statement. “President Donald J. Trump leads the Republican primary by 50 points. Rob DeSanctimonious and Nikki ‘Birdbrain’ Haley need to get serious about their rapidly eroding political futures. DeSanctus is losing his home state by 39 points, and has until Dec. 12th to remove his name from the ballot or suffer one of the biggest home state humiliations in history.”