The Florida Governor contends “she’s running away from her record as governor because her main task as governor, as she saw it, was to recruit investment from the Chinese Communist Party into South Carolina.
“She was the number one ranked governor at bringing in China into her state when she was governor and South Carolina gave away land to the CCP five miles away from a military base for them to do a business venture there,” DeSantis argued.
“And that was very consistent. She went to China with the World Economic Forum back in the day, she took other junkets there and this was something she wrote a love letter to the ambassador when she was governor saying what a great friend China was.”
“That was her worldview. That was what she did,” DeSantis argued.
The Governor went on to say Haley had “never gotten involved in a fight and actually fought on behalf of conservatives,” arguing that she “killed” a single-sex bathroom bill like the one Florida passed.
“And so this is just a pattern with kind of how she does things, doesn’t stand up when it matters, (and) is basically catering to the more liberal Republican donor class now,” he said on Monday’s Mark Levin Show.
DeSantis continued to vent about how donors are moving away from him because he’s just too ideologically pure for them.
“They just want a candidate that they’re able to control. So when they need something, they’re able to say you need to do this. Whereas with me, you know, there have been articles written the whole year about how donors are frustrated that I’m standing on principles such as when we’re standing up to Disney about keeping sexualization of our curriculum out of Florida schools, particularly for these young grades,” DeSantis said.
The Governor’s comments come as a new Fabrizio & Lee poll from Iowa suggests that despite the endorsement DeSantis got from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, it’s not helping him in the state.
“Despite near universal awareness of Gov. Reynolds’ endorsement, the 3rd GOP Presidential debate and Sen. Scott’s surprise drop from the race, Ron DeSantis finds his support stagnant and in a statistical tie with Nikki Haley for 2nd place while President Trump continues to dominate the field by better than a 2 to 1 margin,” the pollsters note.
“An overwhelming majority of Iowa RCG (86%) say they have recently seen, read, or heard about Gov. Reynolds’ endorsement of Ron DeSantis. As seen in the ballots above and contrary to another Team DeSantis narrative, her endorsement has not materially changed this race or diminished Trump’s domination over the field,” the pollsters add.
In last week’s presidential debate, Haley and DeSantis sparred, abetted at times by Vivek Ramaswamy.
He noted that Haley “welcomed” China into South Carolina, contrasting that with Florida’s new ban on Chinese land purchases. Ramaswamy attaboyed DeSantis’ point about Haley, but argued that one of the Governor’s donors pushed for a “lobbying based exemption in that bill that allowed Chinese nationals to buy land within a 20-mile radius of a military base.”
Haley brought it back to land purchases, contending that Enterprise Florida recruited Chinese businesses and that Chinese companies were “expanding” in Florida.
“You gave them stuff. I didn’t give them anything. And I abolished Enterprise Florida,” DeSantis said, eliding the fact that the organization thrived in the state for more than four years, facilitating two foreign trade missions for DeSantis, one in 2019 to Israel and another one this year just before he launched his presidential campaign.
Haley then attacked the “liberal” DeSantis for his opposition to “fracking,” a major issue in the 2018 gubernatorial campaign that was put into the state cvonstitution by Florida voters that year, and strengthened by an early executive order from the Governor compelling the Department of Environmental Protection to end the practice.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to drill in the Florida Everglades,” DeSantis said. “And I know most Floridians agree with me.”
He will, however, frack in other places, he made clear.
Haley summarily swatted at DeSantis on Social Security and Medicare, saying “Ron and Trump” have “joined Biden and Nancy Pelosi and saying they won’t do entitlement reform.” (Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House, of course).
DeSantis dodged the question, which was a talking point from the Trump campaign earlier this year (with the former President calling him a “wheelchair over the cliff kind of guy” for supporting entitlement cuts last decade). He noted, as he has before, that Social Security is important to today’s “seniors” amid today’s “rising prices” and “inflation.”