Picking up momentum from his debate against California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis told Newsmax that exposing Democratic governance is a key way to advance the Republican Party's narrative before the 2024 election.
"If you look at what California does, they're the petri dish of American leftism," DeSantis told "Saturday Agenda" host Rob Astorino, who was once the GOP gubernatorial nominee in the second-largest blue state of New York. "They're five years ahead of where [President Joe] Biden and people in D.C. and the national Democratic Party are, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the Democratic Party is going to go in the direction nationally that California has done in that state.
"And so that means accelerating this country's decline. It means kneecapping our energy production. It means higher prices for people. It means an open border. It means higher crime. It will destroy this country if we allow the Californication of America.
"Florida shows the opposite. Florida shows conservative principles work, that freedom should reign supreme, and that you could have unprecedented success like we've enjoyed since I've been governor."
As he completes the "Full Grassley" tour of Iowa on his presidential primary campaign later Saturday, DeSantis hailed his grassroots operation in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, seeking to capitalize on some final weeks' momentum against polling leader Donald Trump and a surging fellow challenger, Nikki Haley.
"What happens is as people make decisions going into the caucus, you build the organization, you end up producing more caucus votes," DeSantis said before heading to Jasper County to complete his 99-county tour of Iowa. "So we've been able to build a great organization. I don't think anyone's been able to do what we've been able to do. We have the endorsement of the sitting governor, Kim Reynolds, who's wildly popular here and has done a great job."
The DeSantis campaign is following the Iowa caucus playbook and even trumping the past caucus winners in the state, DeSantis added, hailing "big success" in meeting caucusgoers in the state.
"If you look at where I am compared to our previous ... caucus winners have in 2016, '12, and 2008, we're doing much better than they are," DeSantis said. "That's the way this process unfolds. So I think you're going to continue to see that step-by-step progress.
"And then as we get into January, which is when people really make their final decisions. I think we have what it takes to be able to sweep into that victory."
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Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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