NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — On Saturday night, Ron DeSantis attempted to win over a room of Tennessee Republicans, including tables full of Trump’s leadership team in the Volunteer State.
DRAINING THE SWAMP
In a not-so-veiled swing at Trump, DeSantis said he successfully “drained the swamp” in Florida, explaining that he fired the Broward County Sheriff “who bungled the Parkland massacre” and removed a district attorney who vowed not to enforce state laws he disagreed with.
But DeSantis said there’s still much more work to do in Washington – even after four years of Trump. DeSantis said he would fire U.S. Army General Mark Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and replace FBI Director Christopher Wray.
According to DeSantis, Trump didn’t cut the federal bureaucracy, restore U.S. sovereignty against an invasion facilitated by Mexican drug cartels, or complete the wall.
“He promised to drain the swamp,” DeSantis told Scott Morefield on Fox news on Sunday. “It got worse. He did not drain the swamp. He promised to have Mexico pay for a border wall. They did, like, 50 miles of wall. There’s massive expanses still there.”
DeSantis went on to say that Trump promised to eliminate the national debt, but instead added almost $8 trillion to the debt in four years.
“YOU CAN’T CODDLE BUREAUCRATS”
Trump didn’t do enough to protect individual freedoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis said, adding that he would have fired Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“You can’t coddle bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci,” DeSantis said. “There’s one way to deal with people like Dr. Fauci – you say, ‘Anthony, you’re fired.’”
DeSantis said the key to Florida’s success during the pandemic was leadership.
“We fought the media, we fought the left, we fought unelected bureaucrats like Fauci,” DeSantis added.
Close to 1,800 people from Tennessee’s 95 counties gathered for the fundraiser at Music City Center in Nashville. But the state’s Republican elected officials, Gov. Bill Lee and U.S. Senators Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn, were not in attendance.
Governor Lee, who said he could not attend due to a previous commitment, welcomed DeSantis in a video that praised Tennessee and Florida for “standing shoulder to shoulder pushing back against the federal government.”
Pledging to follow through on his promises, DeSantis said he would “rip out Biden’s electric vehicle mandates on day one,” block the institution of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), ban land purchases by the Chinese Communist Party and secure the southern border.
Casey DeSantis briefly appeared on stage to wave at the crowd before the couple departed. Although DeSantis made a strong presidential pitch to the crowd, time will tell if Florida’s governor can win over the state’s staunch Trump supporters.