DeSantis Cracks Joke About Cocaine at the WH, Bashes Bidenomics at Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) speaks at the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, July 28, 2023. Credit: CSPAN

The Iowa Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner took place Friday evening, and among the invited speakers was 2024 Republican presidential candidate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Earlier, we covered a speech by former congresscritter and fellow 2024 GOP primary candidate, Will Hurd, whose remarks dissing former President Donald Trump drew boos from the crowd. (You can watch the live stream of the full event here.)

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In his remarks, DeSantis bashed Biden on his disastrous economic policies, vowing to “repeal Bidenomics” as president:

We will repeal Bidenomics so that middle class people actually have a chance to get ahead in this country again. We will stop the Congress from borrowing and spending this country into oblivion.

He continued, bringing up an idea that was just revived in a new bill by Rep.Nathaniel Moran (R-TX): a balanced budget amendment. DeSantis’ attacks on the Biden administration’s economic record are seen as a warm-up for DeSantis’ anticipated release of his economic plan next week.

DeSantis tore into the federal government’s failure to secure the southern border, too, including a reference to the epidemic of deaths from fentanyl brought over by drug cartels:

I pledge to be the president to finally solve the issue of the southern border. We’re sending the military to the border. Yes, we will build a border wall and we will use deadly force against the Mexican drug cartels because I’m sick of them poisoning our kids, I’m sick of them killing our citizens, and I’m sick of them trafficking people into this country. That ends on January 20th, 2025.

The governor also contrasted the military in the wake of September 11, 2001, with the shape the U.S. military is in today—pointing to the low levels of recruitment under Biden as commander in chief:

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We have a situation now in this country where our recruiting into our military is at the lowest level since the end of the draft during the Vietnam War. And the reason why –and I have veterans coming up to me saying ‘Governor, I don’t know that I’d want my kids or grandkids to join today’s military.’

Why? Because they’re indulging in social experimentation. They’re pursuing political agendas, woke ideology, they’ve taken their eye off the ball. As commander in chief, on day one, we are going to rip the politics out of the military. We’re going to end the woke agenda, and we are going to restore the military to mission first.

In one part of the speech, DeSantis tied his message about fighting wokeness in America, including in schools, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent attack on his state’s new rules on teaching history:

We are going to ensure that parents in this country have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and well-being of their kids. Schools and systems are important, but they do not supersede the rights of parents. We want education in this country, not indoctrination in this country. We got it done in Florida and we need to get it done nationally.

And I got Kamala Harris coming down to Florida trying to create phony narratives because she understands: Florida has stood up to the left’s agenda. We have beat the left’s agenda in the state of Florida. And so she thinks she can come down and lie about what we’re doing in the state of Florida. I’m not budging an inch. We are going to fight back against these people.

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As he moved towards the close of his speech, DeSantis laid out the dire consequences if Republicans fail to “win this election” in 2024:

So here’s the thing. We’re not getting a mulligan on 2024. We either win this election and make good on all the promises that we’re making, or the Democrats are going to throw this country into a hole that’s going to take us a generation to come out of.

I believe that decline is a choice. I believe success is attainable. And I know that freedom is worth fighting for. This is our chance in 2024 to send the Biden-Harris administration to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

But it was near the start of his remarks that the governor cracked a joke about the Keystone Cops-esque routine we saw recently from the Secret Service after cocaine was found inside the White House.

After asking the audience if they are “ready to send Joe Biden back to his basement in Delaware on a permanent vacation,” DeSantis told a joke he’s apparently shared before on the stump:

I can promise you this: in my White House, there will be no cocaine allowed in the White House. And look, my son’s only five years old. So he’s not going to be lining his pockets with money from foreign governments. So don’t worry about that.

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