Gegg Ron DeSantis (R-FL) sat down with a British publication to promote his new book as he slowly juggles his foreign policy duties.
DeSantis reflected on his recent memoir, weighed in on foreign affairs and touted his governing record in a wide-ranging interview with the London Times as buzz about his 2024 ambitions swirls.
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“I thought it was important to at least give people a sense of where my foundations were, some of the early things that influenced me, but I didn’t necessarily want to spend most of the book doing that,” DeSantis said . the publication “I think what people wanted to see was how you applied your ideas about leadership.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference announcing the future home of TGL, a new technology-enabled team golf league, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, on the campus of Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens , Florida.
At one point, DeSantis was pressed by former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK)’s claim that he should sit out in 2024 and remain Florida’s governor, in part because of his youth. which gives him time to present a presidential candidacy in the future.
“I would turn it around and I think we look at the current incumbent,” DeSantis said in a jab at President Joe Biden. “You know, don’t we need more energy in the executive? Don’t we need a little more vigor and a little more punch?
Other likely 2024 Republican candidates have given interviews to the London Times in the past. For example, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) did this last year. The interview with DeSantis was conducted at the George Bush Republican Center in Tallahassee, Fla., and highlights how the Florida governor is expanding his political reach.
At one point, he “perked up” as he recounted a favorite family trip to golf courses in Northern Ireland and Scotland. DeSantis later waded into the controversy over Britain leaving the European Union, a move DeSantis supports.
“My impression, based on what we have here, is that the Conservative Party has not been as aggressive in delivering on that vision as it should have been and that they may be punished in the next election as a result “. He said. “I think, you know, there’s been some disappointment from what I can tell that it wasn’t done more aggressively.”
When pressed about the raging war in Ukraine, DeSantis echoed conservative criticism of Biden, asking, “Is our policy just doing what Zelensky wants? Or do we have a concrete idea of what we’re trying to achieve exactly?”
During his term in Congress, DeSantis criticized the Obama administration for being slow to provide Ukraine with lethal military weapons in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. DeSantis has been outspoken on foreign policy in recent weeks, but has been reluctant to take the foreign affairs tack.
“Maybe you should cover some other ground? I think I’ve said enough,” he said when asked how Biden should have handled Ukraine differently.
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His new book, The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, hit stores Tuesday and is widely seen as a rite of passage to a presidential campaign. DeSantis will travel to Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and possibly South Carolina later this month, key battleground states in the GOP primary process.
DeSantis has said his 2024 decision will come when Florida’s legislative session ends in May. He ranks second to former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical Republican primary, according to the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate poll.