DNC Statement on Ron DeSantis’s CNN Town Hall

Ahead of Ron DeSantis’s CNN town hall in Iowa tonight, DNC National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika released the following statement:

“There is no town hall, debate, or fourth-quarter Hail Mary that can save Ron DeSantis from his own worst enemy: himself. Ron DeSantis’s entire presidential campaign has been nothing short of embarrassing, and tonight’s town hall will be yet another reminder to voters why they are going to soundly reject his extreme MAGA agenda of banning abortion nationwide, repealing the Affordable Care Act, gutting Social Security and Medicare, and making permanent Donald Trump’s tax giveaways for the ultra-wealthy.” 

DeSantis is echoing Trump’s calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act and has even promised to “do a lot more.” 

Justin Dougherty, Fox Carolina: “If Republicans get control of Washington, [with] you in the White House, what’s your plan to repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act?”

DeSantis: “Well, look, that was a big failure. … It’s a total mess. We’re gonna have a comprehensive plan to lower people’s costs, and yes Obamacare hasn’t done it, so we’ll transcend Obamacare, but I think you got to do a lot more than just that.”

DeSantis: “We must repeal ObamaCare. … I have no desire to ‘improve’ or ‘reform’ ObamaCare. I intend to repeal it.” 

DeSantis: “Obamacare should never have been passed.”

DeSantis: “The full and complete repeal of ObamaCare is one of the most critical issues of our time.”

HuffPost: “As a Republican serving in the U.S. House, [DeSantis] was part of a far-right caucus that voted against the first ACA repeal bill that leadership brought to the floor because, DeSantis and his allies said, it didn’t undo enough of the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. GOP leaders eventually put forward a more aggressive repeal. DeSantis and his colleagues voted yes on that one, but it failed in the Senate.”

DeSantis is an anti-abortion extremist who would sign into law a national abortion ban.

New York Times: “DeSantis Says He Would Sign a 15-Week Abortion Ban as President”

DeSantis: “As president, I’m going to welcome pro-life policies across the board at both [state and federal] levels.”

Radio Iowa: “On Saturday at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event, you said as president, you would support abortion restrictions at the state and the federal level. Would you sign the nationwide 15-week ban that the Faith and Freedom Coalition supports?”

DeSantis: “So I’ve said from the beginning of this, as president, you put pro-life legislation on my desk, I’m going to look favorably and support the legislation.”

Tucker Carlson: “You signed a ban on abortion after six weeks in Florida. Would you do the same as president, nationally?”

DeSantis: “Well, I’m very proud to say Kim Reynolds is here and she signed a great heartbeat bill today. We were able to do that in Florida. We had a lot of opposition to that. I’m proud to have been a pro-life governor and I will be a pro life-president, so of course I want to sign pro-life legislation.”

DeSantis said he would consider pardoning January 6 rioters and has used his seat in office to promote, embrace, and empower election deniers and insurrectionists.

DeSantis: “I think it’s ridiculous how much money that they pumped in for the Capitol Police. It was not an insurrection. These are people that were there to attend a rally and then they were there to protest.”

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: “With many blaming President Donald Trump and allies who encouraged him to challenge the election results for the lawlessness in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his support for the president’s unprecedented push to overturn the election. DeSantis said after the election that Trump should ‘fight on’ and ‘exhaust all options’ in challenging the results.”

New York Times: “Mr. DeSantis ducked only one question. A teenage boy invited him to condemn Mr. Trump’s efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021. Mr. DeSantis declined to do so.”

Florida Politics: “DeSantis on Thursday stopped short of blaming Trump, himself and enablers who fueled election conspiracies or refused to accept the election results.”

Tampa Bay Times: “On Jan. 6 anniversary, DeSantis disputes that Capitol attack was an ‘insurrection’”

Politico: “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday condemned the commemoration of the violent Jan. 6 Capitol riots as a way for Democrats and the news media to ‘smear’ supporters of former President Donald Trump.”

Politico: “DeSantis won’t say if he thinks 2020 was rigged. But he’s campaigning for Republicans who do.”

CNN: “DeSantis recently embarked on a national tour to boost the campaigns of some of the most fervent election deniers nominated by his party this cycle.”

DeSantis has a yearslong record of being a proponent of devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

CNN: “A CNN KFile review of comments from DeSantis’ 2012 congressional campaign found he repeatedly said he supported plans to replace Medicare with a system in which the government paid for partial costs of private plans or a traditional Medicare plan. In one interview with a local newspaper, DeSantis said he supported ‘the same thing’ for Social Security, citing the need for ‘market forces’ to restructure the program.”

Semafor: “During his time in Congress, meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis voted for a series of budget resolutions crafted by the conservative Republican Study Committee that would have voucherized Medicare for new beneficiaries, slowed Social Security cost of living increases, and raised the retirement age for both programs.”

Washington Post: “‘I support what Ryan is trying to do in terms of reforming entitlements,’ DeSantis said in a 2012 newspaper questionnaire. ‘It’s not a voucher, it’s premium support.’ 

“As a member of Congress, DeSantis voted for three nonbinding budget resolutions calling for raising the retirement age and slowing future spending growth for Social Security. 

“He received a 0 percent rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. During a previous showdown over the debt limit in 2013, DeSantis said he supported including Social Security and Medicare in the negotiations.

“‘I think we need to restructure some of these entitlements,’ he said in a 2013 CNN interview. ‘I think we should try to look at entitlements, look at restructuring Medicare so it’s delivering services at a lower cost to the taxpayer.’”

DeSantis wants to make permanent Trump’s MAGAnomics tax cuts, and he has failed to address the catastrophic economic failures that Floridians are facing, including some of the fastest-rising housing costs in the country, skyrocketing property insurance rates, and exorbitant health care costs.

DeSantis on whether he’d keep Trump’s tax rates in place: “The current rates that are due to expire, we want to keep those rates in place. We don’t want to see increases in taxes. We definitely wanna see things like permanent bonus depreciation, making sure you have full expensing.” 

CNN: “Florida is now America’s inflation hotspot”

CBS News: “Florida is the least affordable place to live in the U.S.”

Politico: “Rising cost of living in not quite so free Florida”

WINK: “Florida has the highest percentage of cost-burdened renters nationwide”

HuffPost: “While Ron DeSantis Is Fighting Culture Wars, Millions Of Floridians Are Losing Their Health Care”

Orlando Sentinel: “Florida is taking sick kids off Medicaid months before planned”

DeSantis has repeatedly parroted Putin’s talking points, calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute” and doubling down on his position despite bipartisan backlash.

Washington Post: “DeSantis dismisses Russian invasion of Ukraine as a ‘territorial dispute’”

CNN: “DeSantis downplays war in Ukraine and won’t say if he would continue to send aid if he were president” 

DeSantis: “You have Ukraine and Russia fighting over kind of the borderlands.”

Associated Press: “In his first real articulation of a plan for Ukraine, DeSantis echoed a Russian talking point by referring to the war as a ‘territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia.’ Ukraine’s borders are internationally recognized, including by the United Nations.”

DeSantis: “[Ukraine] is more of a secondary or tertiary interest.”

DeSantis signed a bill earlier this year that could make it easier for criminals to carry guns – and even said he would “absolutely” be willing to go further.

NBC News: “Ron DeSantis quietly legalizes carrying concealed weapons without permits”

USA Today: “Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signed a bill Monday that eliminates licensing requirements for Florida residents to carry a concealed firearm in most public places. 

“The Florida Senate voted 27-13 last week and DeSantis signed the bill as quickly as he got it in a closed-door gathering with supporters, making Florida the 26th state that does not require a concealed weapons license.”

Tampa Bay Times: “Gov. Ron DeSantis was recorded Thursday telling a member of a gun rights group that he supports allowing Floridians to openly carry guns in public — a measure that has been publicly opposed by some law enforcement officials and that would go further than any bill now filed for the upcoming legislative session.

“‘Yeah, absolutely,’ DeSantis is heard to say during a 10-second interaction recorded by Valdes and shared with the Times. ‘I don’t think they’re going to do it, but I would absolutely.’”

DeSantis has pursued an extreme education agenda as governor, allowing books to be banned from schools and attacking LGBTQ+ children.

Politico: “New Florida teaching standards say African Americans received some ‘personal benefit’ from slavery”

Washington Post: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is intensifying his efforts to de-emphasize racism in his state’s public school curriculum by arguing that some Black people benefited from being enslaved and defending his state’s new African American history standards that civil rights leaders and scholars say misrepresents centuries of U.S. reality.

“‘They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life,’ DeSantis said on Friday in response to reporters’ questions while standing in front of a nearly all-White crowd of supporters.”

DeSantis: “Yeah, I would eliminate the federal Department of Education if we can. I don’t think that – the federal government was never envisioned to have really any role in K through 12.”

NBC News: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed four bills Wednesday restricting LGBTQ rights, including a measure that expands what critics have called the state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law and another that will ban transition-related care for minors.”