Ron DeSantis turns up the heat in fourth Republican presidential debate

NewsNation DeSantis
The debate saw 4 candidates square off in Tuscaloosa Wednesday.

Ron DeSantis faced off with three other leading Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage, and as with the previous three debates, Donald Trump was nowhere to be found.

The NewsNation debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, found the Florida Governor yet again in the fray with Chris ChristieNikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy. All candidates felt a sense of urgency, but arguably none more so than DeSantis, a year after much of the smart money saw him as the likely 2024 nominee.

The first question of the debate went to DeSantis and his high burn rate and failure to close the gap against Trump, and whether it was actually his time to be President or if he should drop out like Tim Scott did.

As he has before, DeSantis said polls were inaccurate, saying he was “sick” of the surveys and that he repeatedly “beats” leftist entities, such as the “teachers union.”

He contrasted himself against Haley, who he claimed “caves any time the Left comes out or any time the media comes after her.”

“I did a bill in Florida to stop the gender mutilation of minors. It’s child abuse and it’s wrong. She opposes that bill. She thinks it’s fine and the law shouldn’t get involved with it,” DeSantis claimed, saying that showed she would not “fight for the people back home.”

“He continues to lie about my record,” Haley responded, contending that legislation critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill only extends to “third grade,” which was originally the case before the state Board of Education changed the parameters of the Parental Rights in Education bill to cover K-12.

DeSantis responded that his issue with Haley was about “prohibiting sex change operations on minors,” saying that Haley “opposed” that and “said the law shouldn’t get involved in that.”

“We have the video,” DeSantis said.

The debate would return to transgender issues and “bathroom bills” eventually and the familiar talking points around them, including DeSantis saying that he “signed a bathroom bill keeping boys out of girls bathrooms” and “protected girls” while Haley didn’t. But other issues came up first, including ESG.

DeSantis contrasted his move to take “$2 billion away from Black Rock” to Haley’s interface with “big donors,” saying she would “cave” to them.

DeSantis and Ramaswamy teamed up on Haley over over desire to create a social media registry.

“She said, ‘I want your name.’ And that was going to be one of the first things she did in office. And then she got real serious blowback and understandably so because it would be a massive expansion of government,” DeSantis said. He noted the Federalist Papers were written anonymously and contending today’s conservative keyboard warriors have to stay cloaked because they would otherwise suffer consequences for their opinions.

“It’s something that’s important and especially given how conservatives have been attacked and they’ve lost jobs and they’ve been canceled. You know, the regime would use that to weaponize that against our own people,” DeSantis added.

The debate moved on to Israel and whether American troops should be involved in removing eight American hostages held by Hamas. After DeSantis criticized the Joe Biden administration, Christie charged that the Florida Governor dodged the question with a “one-minute, 30-second Hosanna about his knowledge of the military” rather than saying whether he’d send troops in or not.

Ramaswamy contended the Hamas attack was not an “attack on America,” driving dudgeon from DeSantis, who said “Americans were killed in that attack” and that “we’re in this together” with Israel.

Haley and DeSantis bickered about China soon thereafter, with DeSantis claiming Haley will “cave” to “Wall Street liberal donors,” and Haley saying of DeSantis that “he’s mad because those Wall Street donors used to support him and now support me.” What was clear by the end of the exchange is both Governors have a history of working with Chinese interests, even as both claimed the other was worse.

“He has a record of lying,” Haley said.

Haley contended that DeSantis recruited Jinko Solar, a framing DeSantis’ own Chief of Staff used to throw Rick Scott under the bus.

“Chinese company Jinko Solar was brought into Florida by Scott when he was governor. Rick Scott endorsed Donald Trump,” posted Jeremy Redfern to X, in the latest example of a taxpayer-funded employee of the Governor’s Office moonlighting as a campaign surrogate.

DeSantis also hit Trump in absentia to a point, saying that he was a poor candidate because “Father Time is undefeated” and that the GOP needs “to have somebody younger” than 80 years old. However, he repeatedly refused to directly answer the moderator’s question about whether Trump was “mentally fit to be President.”

Christie noted DeSantis’ “nonresponsive” answer, saying a jury would “strike the answer” in a courtroom.

“He’s afraid to answer,” Christie goaded, jabbing DeSantis for not answering a “simple” question and saying DeSantis, Haley and Ramaswamy are “afraid to offend” the former President. Christie then wondered how they would handle negotiating with hostile foreign leaders if they couldn’t criticize Trump.

“I don’t think he’s as bad as Biden at all,” DeSantis conceded.

Ramaswamy accused his opponents of “licking Trump’s boots” from there, saying DeSantis “never would have been Governor without Trump’s endorsement” — an assertion DeSantis did not deny.

Beyond the pyrotechnics, DeSantis was probed on his proposed replacement for “Obamacare,” with a moderator noting Florida has more uninsured people than any other state.

The Governor, who previously said he’d have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act next Spring, said that the issue was greater than “getting a card and Medicaid,” given a lack of access to “good doctors and good hospitals.”

“Florida did not expand Obamacare,” DeSantis said, taking credit for Rick Scott’s decision, before vowing to “go after the cost” because people are “paying too much for everything.”

Whether that answer offered clarity is open to interpretation. It certainly didn’t offer any help for the health care costs incurred by Floridians.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • My Take

    December 6, 2023 at 10:29 pm

    DeSScamus’s coming failure and disgrace will be enjoyed by many.

  • Robert Denby

    December 6, 2023 at 10:43 pm

    “DeSantis turns up heat”? Don’t show your agenda too transparently with that headline, author. He got smoked, per usual. Maybe Ron will figure out what to do with his hands before the next time he tries sidling up to the Big Boy/Girl table.

      • MH/Duuuval

        December 7, 2023 at 3:18 pm

        AG is reporting what he witnessed with comments of his own. I don’t believe he is in bed with the Zieglers.

        • Mark

          December 7, 2023 at 8:31 pm

          At t his point, I wouldn’t state as fact. Swingers gonna swing. Bridget’s pretty easy on the eyes. Christian…luckily we still have single use bags available.

    • Tom

      December 7, 2023 at 7:49 am

      That was the first time I’d watched a debate but seeing Desantis standing there like a pork chop at a Jewish wedding was something to see. The hands were something else. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look so uncomfortable on a stage in my life. Nothing he said had any substance either way so yep, turn up the heat was quite an overstatement. Chris Christie was fun though. He looked like he just standing at the bar having a beer and chatting. He seemed to be the only one who realized that none of them are going to be nominated and that they’re just wasting their time.

  • Earl Pitts "The Ronald's Un-Official Campaign Manager" American

    December 6, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    Good evening America,
    Our next POTUS Ron “The Ronald” DeSantis earned his rightfull place, at the debate, with his manly boot properly and painfully kicked up every other candidates 8utt Hurt 8utt.
    I advise all Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s to just quit being weird and convert to good honest American Patriots so you can be on the winning “DeSantis” team and save the planet from the dangerous nuclear climate change which (Without The Ronald as POTUS) will come from WWIII Nuclear Global Warming.
    This way you will all avoid the next 8 years of screaming at the sky. The Ronald has a “Big Tent” and all “Former Dook 4 Brains Leftys” are welcome on our team. So say goodbye to your “Stupid Lefty Old Friends” by converting them to Great American Patriots just like you. Save The Planet From WWIII Nuclear HeII With Ron.
    Thank you one and all.
    “And they all lived happely ever after” as good honest Patriots on The Ron DeSantis winning team”.
    Thank you Former Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s,
    Earl Pitts “Political Science Emeritas” American

    • Tom

      December 7, 2023 at 7:57 am

      I would have gone with something like “I VOTED FOR MORE RON” ’cause ya know, you just can’t get enough Ron.

      • Earl Pitts "The Ronald's Un-Official Campaign Manager" American

        December 7, 2023 at 8:42 am

        Thank you Patriot Tom for your wise and correct support for our next POTUS, Ron DeSantis!!!!
        Dont worry Tom just in case you still have any friends or family members who dont yet know you have successfully transitioned from a “Flameing Dook 4 Brains Lefty” to a Fine Upstanding Salt Of The Earth American Patriot, thru the Earl Pitts American Transition Clinic, that can just be our little secret.
        Earl Pitts “Transition Specialist” American

        • rick whitaker

          December 7, 2023 at 1:26 pm


    • rick whitaker

      December 7, 2023 at 1:32 pm


  • Impeach Biden

    December 6, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Why is Nikki Haley even allowed to be on that stage?
    Women shouldn’t even be allowed to vote, and this b*tch is running for president? SMH
    The Bible is clear. Women are property.

    • Impeach Bide

      December 7, 2023 at 6:47 am

      I take it as a honor that you steal my sign in name here. Your views are more aligned with the Muzzy Cult which is supported by the Demo Party. Watch Jayapal, Omar, Tlaib, and that moron Bush from Missouri with their anti-Israel, anti-woman rhetoric.

      • rick whitaker

        December 7, 2023 at 8:25 pm

        impeach bide, it sounds like you and your fake name are the same people with the same maga cultist frame of mind . the things you say about biden and the dems is horrific. i’m so glad i don’t know either one of you cave people. the house members you listed in your post are some of the best people in congress. the fact that you deride them says a lot negatively about you. shame on you.

  • Look up.

    December 6, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    ^^^^ These are the mentally stable adults voting Republican.

    • My Take

      December 7, 2023 at 1:08 am

      Thèy especially hate strong successful women.

  • Pepe

    December 7, 2023 at 1:06 am

    Governor DeSantis, you must call me after this campaign business is finished next month. I have acting studio and am doing big production of “A Clockwork Orange.” You will be a magnificent Alex DeLarge.

    You will be beautiful, we will do excellent smokey eye and keep hair color painted same brownie batter hue as your current tone. Your creepy smile is so perfect for this. You do not even need acting lessons. For I shall profit greatly if you simply act as yourself.

    I shall wait with baited breath for you to star in my show. Not to worry – we have excellent costume designer who can help with your problem area.
    Kiss, kiss.

  • My Take

    December 7, 2023 at 4:36 am

    These wimps won’t tear down Trump (except Christy).
    Trump needs to fall.
    Beìng prohibited on the ballot for his treason would be outstanding.
    MAGA would go berserk.
    But the thought of FMJ and full-auto ìn facing riot troops should quiet them down.

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 7, 2023 at 6:33 am

    Lol. These poor little trump cult folks! Ya notice Trump ain’t no where around a debate! Cause Trump is a scared dribbling candidate! Lol. Lol. Trump would get kicked in his pompous butt! Love it.

    • Impeach Biden

      December 7, 2023 at 6:50 am

      I would love to see “Dementia” Joe debate anyone. Anyone without his coaching ear piece, teleprompter, cheat sheets, cue cards, etc. He won’t though because anyone with half a brain knows he is completely incapable. Now watch the state run media, Biden’s campaign team spin why they won’t debate Trump.

  • Earl Pitts "The Ronald's Un-Official Campaign Manager" American

    December 7, 2023 at 7:51 am

    Good Mornting America,
    Just as a reminder:
    While Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s snipe at these candidates with their snyde and assinine comments at least America’s Patriots and our Great Nation’s slack-minded simpleton Lefty’s can all come together as one happy family and 100% agree on one thing.
    Last night’s debate was 100% bettet than ANY DEBATE Joe 8iden has praticipated in going back the LAST TEN YEARS.
    This golden nugget of Sage Political Commentary and Sweet Sweet Wisdom has been brought to you this mornting for your enjoyment and edification, as we all relax our sphincters together by me, Earl Pitts American.

  • Pepe Claire

    December 7, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Governor DeSantis,
    Please excuse typos. My French does not translate American words as well as my brother Pepe. By now you know, my brother Pepe wishes to cast you for starring role in our show. I have been told I shall spoil you with Snack Packs, diluted beers, and sugar-free Icees in your dressing room. Lots of American things that make you feel like man and child at same time. Magnificent.
    I am told to make sure we have special brown goo for your hair and a spray to hold all in place, so the hair does not cry like Rudy Giuliani’s did at that press conference a couple years ago. We are all over it like Christian Ziegler on a barstool. Do not worry.
    No doubt you also have blister on balls of your feet from standing on tip toes in your fancy go-go boots. I have seen the pain in your face when you standing for long periods of time. Your anguish is so deep. The boots have robbed you of joy.
    We shall have a luxurious foot spa awaiting you in dressing room to soothe your feet. We also have a Russian masseuse to give you foot massage. I will tickle your face with feathers and polished stone to loosen up frown lines and diminish appearance of ‘crazy eyes.’ You will be helped so much by the pampering. You shall love it. Casey will think you are new man. You will benefit so much.
    We cannot wait for you to be Alex DeLarge in our production of “A Clockwork Orange.” Your natural personality will make the story come to life! My brother tells me you wear special sizes in some shorts. That is no problem for our costume designer.

    • Jim

      December 7, 2023 at 8:39 am

      ROFLMAO 😂😂😂😂

  • Michael K

    December 7, 2023 at 9:48 am

    Frank Bruni succinctly summed up DeSantis’ performance: “ He sounded less like a national leader than like a playground bully.”

    • MH/Duuuval

      December 7, 2023 at 3:21 pm

      Which he was … .

  • ScienceBLVR

    December 7, 2023 at 11:44 am

    As he has before, DeSantis said polls were inaccurate, saying he was “sick” of the surveys and that he repeatedly “beats” leftist entities, such as the “teachers union.”

    Blaming the teachers again??? Love to have a conversation with some of his past educators.
    What a maroon he is…

    • MH/Duuuval

      December 7, 2023 at 3:23 pm

      Specifically, those teachers in the Ivy League who pushed him forward. What were they thinking?

      • rick whitaker

        December 7, 2023 at 4:16 pm

        MH/DUUUVAL, remember, bush jr. got a legacy seat at yale.

    • Mark

      December 7, 2023 at 8:39 pm

      In a state with a massive teacher shortage. I wonder if he will take on the police unions?

  • Four Seasons Total Manscaping

    December 7, 2023 at 8:45 pm

    If anyone sees Ron DeSantis, please tell him the artist who dyed his hair yesterday feels terrible about making fun of his “pre-puberty grin.” If I had known he was going to look like a feral chipmunk all night by not smiling, I never would have told him to stop that weird grinning thing he normally does. I am just fraught with guilt over this.
    Please also tell him that his hair color was totally on point under all those LEDs.
    And he’s got a 2-for-1 groupon waiting for him at the front desk.

Comments are closed.


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