Thursday 5 October 2023

DeSantis Outlines Major Shift He’d Make In U.S. Military; What He looks For In VP, AG Candidates

 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during a radio interview this week that he envisions, as president, dramatically scaling up the size of the U.S. Navy to prevent war with communist China.

DeSantis made the remarks while talking to Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday about a variety of issues, including what he is looking for in a vice presidential running mate and an attorney general nominee.

While discussing the threat that China poses to the U.S., DeSantis said that it was important to have “a whole of society approach to fending off the CCP.”

“This is our top threat. This decade will be the decisive decade,” he said. “This is a military confrontation, perhaps, a technological, economic, cultural, all of those things. We need to be, have national policy geared towards fending off the CCP. And I think that Washington’s policy, the D.C. kind of smart tank, they’ve had all bark and very little bite with respect to China. I think on the current course, China will surpass us as we get into the next decade.”

He said that one of the top things that needs to happen to prevent war is to increase the U.S.’s “hard power” in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We are going to have a Naval buildup,” he said. “We’ll have, we’ll shoot for 355 ships after the first term. And we’ll get to 385 ships after term two. But I think even more importantly than that, reinvigorating our Defense industrial base and our shipbuilding capacity so that within 20 years, we could get close to 600 ships.”

DeSantis said that the U.S. could take care of any issues with Russia simply by being strong and “using the leverage that we have at our disposal,” which he said involved energy policy.

He said another major change that he would make is picking a Secretary of Defense who is from outside the U.S. Military because it will be easier to hold people accountable if they are not part of the club.


Hewitt then asked DeSantis about who he might select as a running mate if he were to win the Republican nomination, noting that he wanted to see a “generational change” and warning that it would be a bad idea to pick someone who was old.

“I think you’re exactly right,” DeSantis said. “I think doing, Biden shows you doing those other considerations what, that got you. You know, he did Kamala Harris, and the problem is the number one thing you have to get is somebody that can do the job. Number two is somebody that shares your vision and shares your priorities, and yes, as you say, that can articulate that and be a good spokesman for it. And so that’s what I would look for.”

DeSantis said that it was critical that he made the perfect pick for his running mate because it would effectively be his first decision as president and he would be judged off that.

“It’s a window into your executive decision making, and so you’ve got to get that right,” he said. “But the most important thing is someone, you’re on that stage with someone, you’re waving. They say that person can be president, and that person is somebody that shares the governor’s agenda.”

On the issue of who he might pick as attorney general, DeSantis said that he has a list of people in mind.

He said that some of the qualities that he would look for included someone who was “a very smart Constitutionalist” who has a “strong legal mind, but somebody that has backbone, because that swamp does not want DOJ reformed.”

“So when you go in there and you clean house, you are going to face a lot of blowback,” he said. “And so you just have to be okay with getting smeared in The New York Times and by CNN and all these other, and just know that you’re representing American people outside of D.C. who want to see this justice system corralled. And you have a huge opportunity to make a great difference for the country, but it is going to come at a cost. So if you don’t have that spine of steel, if you don’t have that backbone, don’t even bother applying.”

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