Home>Articles>The Globe Interview: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Candidate for US President

FL. Governor Ron DeSantis takes the stage in Gardnerville, NV, at the Basque Fry with his family. (Photo: Megan Barth for The Nevada Globe)

The Globe Interview: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Candidate for US President

DeSantis believes a conservative can win in the Silver State as Florida was ‘every bit a swing state that Nevada is’

By Megan Barth, June 19, 2023 7:35 pm

This past Saturday, the eighth annual Basque Fry was held at the Corley Ranch in Gardnerville, NV. After a two-mile back up to enter the ranch, over 2,500 attendees filled the rural and scenic venue to hear from a variety of local and national speakers, including Lt. Governor Stavros Anthony and featured guest, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who recently launched his campaign for President on May 24th.

DeSantis’ visit to Nevada marked the first for a GOP presidential candidate this election cycle as the Governor made three campaign stops this weekend in Northern Nevada, including another first for a presidential candidate at the Reno Rodeo.

Prior to his 50 minute speech to an enthusiastic crowd, Governor DeSantis took some time to sit down with The Globe and generously answered a few questions.

Governor DeSantis signs autographs at the Basque Fry in Gardnerville, NV, June 7, 2023. (Photo: Megan Barth for The Nevada Globe)

TNG: Nevadans would like to get to the know the person behind the candidate, so tell us when and why you decided to get into politics and run for office.

Gov. DeSantis:

Well, I tell people it was a momentary lapse in judgment (laughing). So it was in 2012. I had been in the Navy, I had served in Iraq. I had done other things and so I was kind of out of government. I had just written a book in 2011 called “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers, First Principles in the age of Obama.” Only about a dozen people read it at the time. Now it goes for a lot on Ebay, incidentally, because there aren’t many printed. But, basically what it was saying is that under the Obama administration, it wasn’t just the policies that were bad, but the government is becoming unmoored from the founding principles of the country and we’re now in like a post-Constitutional era. So, I was identifying a lot of the problems there and I was citing back to James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and how they conceived of how a free society should operate and how constitutional government should work.

Long story short, I’d go out to sell the book and I’d go speak to conservative groups throughout Florida with my wife. She’d bring the books and we just kind of sell the books as I spoke to these groups. Well, the attendees would be like, “you need to run, you need to run” and I’m like, “run for what?”  They would tell me to run for something, anything, and that “we need young blood, we need people out there.” So, it just so happened that 2012 was a redistricting year and Florida got two additional congressional seats and one was where I lived–a new district with no incumbent. So, again, people said, “you gotta run, you gotta run.” I’m like, “All right. Well, I’ve never done this before.” So, we started with no money or name ID in a seven- way primary. But, six months later, we won by 15% in a seven-way race and the rest is history.

But, the impetus was kind of the ideas in my book. The idea that the country is not gonna be able to be a successful country if we don’t have those foundational values and principles honored. I mean, that is what separates us. The founders knew all republics had failed in history. So they were saying, how do you succeed here? And part of it was, is that you had a dedication to principles.

So, I thought in 2012 that Republicans would win the White House and we would be able to reverse a lot of Obama’s stuff. But, obviously, that didn’t happen and there was a lot more damage done.

TNG: Would you consider yourself a conservative Republican or a moderate Republican?

Gov. Desantis: Conservative.

TNG: I’m often told, especially here in Nevada, that a conservative just can’t win in this state…only a moderate Republican can win. Historically, we’re a swing state. We had the only Republican governor beat an unpopular Democrat incumbent in this past election, but he has recently ruffled the feathers of some conservatives. Yet, Nevada is split three ways: 30% Democrats, 30% Republicans and 30% Independents. When we look at the past elections in Nevada, the Republican presidential candidate lost by 2%. Adam Laxalt only lost by about 8,000 votes to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. How do you get over that gap and how do you sell a conservative message in a swing state like Nevada?

(Editors note: In 2018, Desantis was elected Governor of Florida by 32,000 votes. He was reelected in 2022 by a margin of 1.5 million).

Gov. Desantis: 

Well, so in Florida, when I got elected the first time  as Governor in 2018, there were 300,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. What we did was we led boldly and we led with conviction.We ended up winning by 1.5 million votes. But you know, Florida was every bit of swing state as Nevada is.

If you looked at the decade before that, these presidential and governor races were 1% races. I mean, Obama won by 0.9% in 2012. My predecessor won by one point both times. Donald Trump won by one point in 2016. So, that was the the natural flow of it. I think what we did, and part of it was: delivering results, bold leadership, standing out on COVID as a free state…all these things, we moved people in our direction.

Yes, we did have some good migration, but not 1.5 million enough in terms of that margin. I think people respond to leadership, I don’t think that they view it as much like, “oh, you’re too liberal, moderate, conservative.” I think they look at you and ask , “Are you making sense?” and “Are you delivering?”

One thing I don’t do, I don’t see cede any issue to the left.

For example, I’ve done the biggest environmental restoration of the Everglades in Florida history that had not been done because the Sugar companies ran the policy. Well, I ran against that and said I’m going to fix it. This is not wacko, lefty stuff. This is core things that help our water supply, help the health of our rivers and our bays, and it’s something that has huge Republican and Democrat support. I just took the bull by the horns, and I did it. Education. You know, we don’t cede that to the left. Yeah, we do school choice. Yeah, we do parents rights and focus on some of that. Incidentally, a lot of independents and Democrat parents agree with us, standing up against Disney and all the like, but I also supported our teachers with big pay increases and I don’t let it go to the union. It can only go to the teacher. It can’t be diverted from anywhere else.

But, we’re very strong across the board on Education. I don’t cede any issue to them. I don’t have a liberal solution for it, of course, but we’re engaged in all these issues across the board. And, you know, I had people that voted for Bernie Sanders who voted for me because maybe I saved their job from a vax mandate. I wouldn’t let them be fired for that. Or, maybe we did some other things.

What I try to do is just, I don’t leave meat on the bone. I try to get as much done as I can. Not everyone likes everything you do. But if you’re active and you’re delivering, people do respect that. So, I think Nevada is definitely doable for us. I think people here are sick of Biden. I think they know that he has not done a good job. I don’t think they want another four years of it, but I do think they want a vehicle of somebody that’s going to be looking forward, not backwards, and is going to be someone that I think has a proven record of success.

TNG: The Democratic majority in Nevada stopped School Choice, stripped or gutted many of the Governor’s priorities, and presented many bills that some would say plays politics with people’s lives, specific to the culture war, in attempting to limit what school boards can and cannot do when it comes to the protection of women’s sports and spaces.

You have been leading the charge in this war of sorts, and Riley Gaines just endorsed you. Our governor signed on with 25 other governors to protect women’s sports against Biden’s attempts at using the Department of Education to expand Title IX to include transgender athletes.

Explain what you did in Florida, and what the rest of the country can expect from you, as far as protecting women’s sports and women’s rights should you win the primary and the 2024 election.

FL Governor rallies a crowd of 2,000 at the Basque Fry in Gardnerville, NV (Photo: Megan Barth for The Nevada Globe)

Gov. DeSantis: 

This country needs a return to sanity. I think a lot of these issues are due to the fact that the cultural Left and these elites are off their rocker and they’re trying to shove an agenda down everybody’s throat. So when people say “DeSantis is waging a culture war!”… No, no, no, no. You, the Left, are waging a cultural war against us. I just have the temerity to fight back and to preserve parents’ rights, the rights of girls and women athletes, and all on down the line. And so, you know, the Left is just, if you give them an inch, they will take a mile. In Florida, we say “No. Not here.” In fact, we regained ground in Florida from the Left by recapturing some of these institutions like we’re doing with our universities, for example.

So, I think it’s very important to just point out that we’re the ones fighting for basic sanity and common sense on all of these issues. They’re the ones that are off their rocker and they are doing things that the average Democrat voter thinks is kooky. You want to see how some of these Democrats reacted to the male swimmer who competed in the NCAA race? They didn’t like that in Florida. I can tell you that first hand.

So, we’re doing all those things and I think it’s the right thing to do. But, I also think there’s a huge, huge majority that just wants to have basic common sense and sanity, honored. We’re doing that with women’s sports. We did that years ago where we said that boys play boys’ sports and girls play girls’ sports. Your daughter has a right and my two daughters have a right to compete with fairness and integrity. The idea that you can compete on the men’s team for three years, then switch to the women’s and somehow you win the national championship is a fraud. It takes away opportunities for these girls. One of the most significant social media posts I’ve ever done, in terms of engagement, was on this issue. We did a proclamation after they gave the male Penn swimmer the championship because the number two swimmer was from Sarasota. So, I did a proclamation saying she was the top women’s swimmer in the 500-yard freestyle and she should be recognized as such.

The NCAA can try to perpetrate a fraud on us, but we do not have to accept it. And in Florida, we don’t accept it. So, we did the proclamation saying she was the best collegiate women swimmer and it blew up.People were so excited by that, and I think the reason is is because some people are scared to just stand for what is right on some of these things because the people that control the upper echelons of society in corporate media, major corporations, academia, all this stuff, they are all on the other side of it.

So when you step out and speak the truth, they’re gonna throw shade at you, they’re gonna brush you back, they’re gonna throw arrows at you. And, the question is, as a leader, are you trying to avoid that or are you willing to stand in the breach to protect your people? I think what we’ve done in Florida is, you know, I don’t care if it’s Disney. I don’t care if it’s the media here. Here I stand. We’re gonna stand for what’s right, and I will take the arrows so that our my citizens don’t have to apologize.

At this point, the Governor’s press secretary signaled that I had one more question, however, the governor obliged my request by granting me two more (of the dozen or so I could have asked).

TNG: Let’s talk baseball. The Dodgers just honored a controversial drag ‘nun’ group which drew thousands of Christian protestors in the heart of Los Angeles. We just brought the A’s to Las Vegas, but attached to the bill is a Community Benefits Agreement which is just a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) contract. What are your thoughts and actions taken in relation to the Left’s agenda that prioritizes DEI above equal opportunity and merit?

Gov. Desantis:

I am not familiar with the specific contract you mention, but here’s what we did in Florida. We eliminated DEI from our public university system, entirely. I just signed that bill a couple of months ago. We’re the first state in the country to do it. It’s not diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination. That’s what it does and it divides people. I just think that the average American just wants a fair shake in life and you should be treated based on your talent, merit, and achievement. It should not be whether you’re checking some type of box in the Woke Olympics. That’s just inappropriate. So, we’ve eliminated that in Florida.

We provided protection to employees of corporations that they should be able to opt out of DEI trainings because these trainings are discriminatory. That is in litigation now. I mean, if they’re making you sit there and self-flagellate yourself because you’re a particular race, that’s a workplace violation just as much as anything else that’s already in the law. So, we’re fighting that in the courts, but, as President, we will eliminate DEI from the federal agencies, the military, all of that.

It’s like things have gotten worse with relations because, you know, back when I was growing up, it wasn’t that there wasn’t any racial conflict at all. I think society had the view that, you know, it should be something that we try to minimize and let us emphasize what unites us. Now, it’s the opposite. Now, they want to minimize the things that unite us as Americans and they wanna magnify superficial divisions that we may have and act like that’s the most important thing. I think it is intentional in order to divide the country. Whereas, kind of the the old school Marxists would divide on the basis of class, I think this new form of woke cultural Marxism is trying to divide on the basis of identity politics. I think it’s wrong and I think it’s harmful for the country.

TNG: Last question. What are the first three things you’ll do when elected as President of the United States?

Gov. DeSantis:

Number one: The border will be shut down. We will declare a national emergency on Day One, shut it down, build a border wall, and hold Mexico and the cartels accountable.

Number two: The economy. We’re going to go very quickly on getting the budget in control, reducing inflation, and expanding domestic energy production so we can lower energy prices, and there will be other things in that bucket, but we will be very strong on the economy.

Number three: Bringing the bureaucracy in the deep state to heel. We will have a new FBI Director on Day One. We’re going to be bringing huge change, not just to DOJ and FBI, but the medical swamp like the NIH, CDC, and the FDA. Those agencies were harmful during COVID. Those agencies lied to the public during COVID. Those agencies are not serving this country well.

So, you’re going to see those agencies totally overturned and turned inside and out. I think taking this bureaucracy, which has imposed its will on us for far too long, and saying it’s about time that we impose our will on it. That’s got to start on Day One. You gotta know what levers of power you can push, you gotta be disciplined, you gotta be focused and you gotta understand that this is something that is going to be a daily battle across all these different agencies. It’s not something you can just snap your fingers.

Obviously, other presidents have promised to deal with it and have failed completely. But, it’s something you have to do. Because the ultimate question is, do we govern ourselves or not? If a bureaucracy can just run amuck regardless of election outcomes, then we are not our own rulers and that is not what the founding fathers intended. So, the border, the economy and slaying the bureaucracy will be Day One priorities…and there’ll be others too. But, I think get all three of those done, then we’re gonna be in really good shape.

Governor DeSantis speaks to the crowd at the 8th annual Basque Fry in Gardnerville, NV (photo: Megan Barth for the Nevada Globe)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Megan Barth
Spread the news:


3 thoughts on “The Globe Interview: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Candidate for US President

  1. 1) Border. – media reports that cartels are moving into time share – vacation industry. e.g. Puerto Vallarta controlled by Jalisco cartel? This could eventually affect Nevada’s industry.

    2) Energy Nevada high gas – energy .. Nevada has petroleum and gas potential.

    3) Federal government butting in to Nevada. e.g. G 2 form for $1200 jackpot ? Look at all the time that takes for bars, stores, and individuals to do.

    So good simple understandable agenda that would help Nevadans ..

    1. Excellent interview Nevada Globe. Every single concern of mine and people I care about in Nevada and elsewhere was addressed. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *