DeSantis in Utah - "I'm running..to reverse the decline of our country"
Florida governor criticized President Joe Biden and current economic conditions. We know we need to go in a much different direction than we have with Bidenomics," he said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Utah on Friday to attend a fundraiser hosted by Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, declaring he is running for the White House to "give this country a new birth of freedom,"
Several state leaders appeared at the press conference at which the governor spoke. He touched on a number of campaign priorities, including reversing the decline of America's economy, securing the border, demanding accountability, restoring the military to its proper function, and restoring integrity to the U.S. constitutional system.
"I am not content with just simply managing the decline of this country a little bit better than the Democrats. I'm running for president because I want to reverse the decline of our country. I want to give this country a new birth of freedom, and together we are going to be able to get that done," he said.
He criticized President Joe Biden and current economic conditions.
"We know we need to go in a much different direction than we have with Bidenomics. I mean, think about a working family - interest rates are high, it's hard to afford a home; automobiles are as expensive as they've ever been; price of groceries, all the necessities have gone up dramatically, just in the last few years - that is not a recipe for success for people to realize the American dream."
De Santis sees China as the biggest challenge for America as they try to dominate not just the Indo-Pacific region but the world with their economic power.
"China's economy, even though it's slow, is still growing faster than ours and they are going to surpass us if we don't change course…The tragedy of it is, it's been U.S. policy that's really put China on the road to having all the power."
DeSantis commented on America's unconstitutional power imbalance, noting that the founding fathers did not design an administrative state acting as a fourth branch of government unaccountable to the electorate, wielding power with impunity, and making major decisions for the country without the participation of elected representatives.
"We need to re-constitutionalize the federal government to make sure bureaucracy is brought to heel. We cannot have federal agencies weaponized against people that they don't like."
The Florida governor faces a pitched GOP primary against former President Donald Trump, who leads DeSantis in several polls. Besides DeSantis, no other candidate in the crowded field has yet to find solid footing in polls as a contender to vie for the GOP ticket against Trump.
DeSantis, a Navy veteran, expressed a goal to return the military to "mission first."
"You know, having served in Iraq alongside Navy Seal Team One back in Fallujah and Ramadi and all those wonderful places at the height of the Iraq campaign, you develop an appreciation for what wearing the uniform means.
There were people signing up to be a marine, signing up to be soldiers knowing they were going to get sent to Iraq. It gave me an appreciation for the people who have sacrificed for us in the past," he said. "And now a lot of veterans come up to me and they see an obsession with things like DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy). They see an obsession with things like climate change in the military. We're going to go back to mission first. We're going to have a military that's lethal, ready and capable. We are not going to let political agendas cloud the accomplishment of the mission and that happens on day one as Commander in Chief."
The Florida governor plans to present his vision for the economy and for national security in the coming weeks.