Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis hit former President Donald Trump during an interview Friday over a “jailbreak” bill that he signed into law as president and for not having control of his own government.
DeSantis made the remarks during an interview with Ben Shapiro, editor emeritus of The Daily Wire and host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” the top conservative podcast in the nation.
“Florida’s crime rate is at a 50-year low,” DeSantis said. “That’s just a fact, and it hit a 50-year low during my administration. But a lot of that is because local people, local government, local law enforcement, have done a good job, but it’s hit a 50-year low while crime has been spiking in other places around the country.”
“So that’s delusional to say that somehow Florida has bad crime, and you can see that in the migration patterns,” he continued. “People are leaving high crime areas and they’re coming here. When the Floyd riots were going on in Minneapolis, I called out the National Guard in Florida immediately, I had state law enforcement deployed.”
DeSantis later added that “under the Trump administration, [Trump] enacted a bill, basically a jailbreak bill. It’s called the First Step Act.”
“It has allowed dangerous people out of prison who have now re-offended and really, really hurt a number of people,” he said. “So one of the things I would want to do as president is go to Congress and seek the repeal of the First Step Act. If you are in jail, you should serve your time. And the idea that they’re releasing people who have not been rehabilitated early so that they can prey on people in our society is a huge, huge mistake.”
When asked about the 2020 election, DeSantis said that the problem was that Trump enabled people like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who in turn put policies into place that Democrats at the state-level used to implement voting rules like universal mail-in voting and ballot harvesting.
“I also look at how the federal government colluded with some of the tech companies to censor information like the Hunter Biden story. That’s election interference. It’s totally unfair,” DeSantis said. “But I would also point out that it was Donald Trump’s FBI and Donald Trump’s DHS that was doing that; he didn’t have control over his own agencies. If somebody in my government were doing that, they would’ve been fired the next day.”
“And so you’ve got to take the responsibility as the candidate to shape the battlefield in a way that’s going to be most advantageous to your side winning,” he said. “So what I’ll do, obviously in Florida we did it very effectively, but nationally, you look to see what the rules of the game are. Yes, we ban ballot harvesting in Florida. That’s what you should do. Yes, we ban Zucker bucks in Florida. That’s what you should do. However, not every state has done that. So if you’re in a state like Nevada, that’s a mass mail balloting state with ballot harvesting and Zucker bucks, we will have organizations in place so that we can exploit that system. If you have it in Wisconsin, we will have organizations in place to exploit that system. I think telling people not to send in a mail ballot is a huge mistake and it ends up reducing the pool of prospective voters.”
“In Florida, we focused on some of these low propensity voters in my reelection. They usually vote in presidential, they don’t always vote in midterm, and we converted a lot of them to vote. Most of them chose to vote by absentee ballot through the mail. That was their choice,” he concluded. “If we told them you could only vote on election day, some of them very well may not have voted. So understand the battlefield, it’s your responsibility as a candidate to head off that. But every single candidate that we would nominate is going to face this from the Left, the Democrats, and the media. And what I’ve told people, if you nominate me, I’m not going to make excuses. I’m going to get it done and will be sworn in as president on January 20th, 2025.”