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Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis shot down the idea of choosing Democrat contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his vice president if he wins the 2024 Republican nomination.
DeSantis, who entered the race earlier this year, rejected the idea of a DeSantis/Kennedy Jr. ticket to Outkick’s Clay Travis despite the Democrat candidate gaining popularity in some conservative circles.
Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, formally launched his 2024 Democratic presidential campaign in April, vowing to end the merger of state and corporate power. The environmental lawyer and best-selling author garnered attention in recent years for his stance against vaccines and became a vocal critic of the government’s handling of the COVID pandemic.
But despite the two presidential hopefuls coming from different political camps, DeSantis said he “100%” agrees with Kennedy’s position on Dr. Anthony Fauci and health bureaucracy corruption — issues both candidates speak openly about in their respective campaigns.
“Here’s the issue: I’m aligned with him on [former presidential medical adviser Dr. Anthony] Fauci, the corruption, and the health bureaucracy — 100 percent,” DeSantis said. “But, at the end of the day, he’s more liberal, very liberal on some. I mean, he used to say, I don’t know if he still believes this, that if you deny climate change, you should go to jail, things like that. So, it’s like conservative voters, they would want those positions flushed out. He opposed the affirmative action ruling [that said] you can’t racially discriminate … he would have wanted that to remain. So I just think at the end of the day, you need somebody that’s going to reflect the values of the broad coalition.”
“Yes, the medical stuff — I’m very good on that. So that does appeal to me, but there’s a whole host of other things that he’d probably be out of step with.”
Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis shoots down the idea of having Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. be his vice-presidential pick.
There also seems to be the notion that he suggested RFK Jr. could lead the CDC or FDA but that's not what the transcript suggests:
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 26, 2023
DeSantis, however, floated the idea of siccing Kennedy Jr. on one of the top federal health agencies in the nation.
“If you’re president, sic him on the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] if he’d be willing to serve. Or sic him on CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” DeSantis said. “But in terms of being veep, there’s 70% of the issues that he may be averse to our base on, you know, that just creates an issue.”
In recent months, DeSantis has expressed ongoing criticism of federal agencies, specifically hitting the CDC during the height of the pandemic for imposing mandates on U.S. citizens.
DeSantis reportedly met with Kennedy Jr. during the COVID pandemic and slammed the federal government’s response as “catastrophic” while making it clear that complete destruction of certain institutions might be going too easy on them.
“There was a report that — I had spoken with Bobby Kennedy Jr., and he had said that ‘the governor said that you know, that we need to burn to the ground the CDC’ and all these things,” DeSantis began.
“And I just want to be very clear, full disclosure,” DeSantis continued. “I was not that kind to CDC and NIH and any of those [agencies]. Just for the record, just so your viewers don’t think I’m going soft, but I can’t think of a more catastrophic response than how this country responded to COVID, particularly at the federal level.”