Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) unveiled his presidential campaign’s economic platform Monday with a strikingly populist economic message that focused on toppling power centers across American society — from the Federal Reserve to corporate C-suites.
“We cannot allow the failed ruling class in this nation to dictate our nation’s policies, we have to defeat those individuals and institutions that have caused our economic malaise,” he said.
The DeSantis campaign’s “Declaration of Economic Independence” comes as the candidate searches for traction in a race where former President Donald Trump has widened his lead in the polls in recent months.
The new DeSantis proposal includes a 10-point plan for how he would approach the economy and a new economic website that also launched Monday with “We win. They lose.” emblazoned across the top.
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov survey found Trump with a 25-point advantage over DeSantis with economic issues like inflation listed as voters’ top concern. A New York Times/Siena College poll released just today finds an even wider 37-point margin.
Returning again and again to the ‘elites’
During the speech, DeSantis returned again and again to the idea of “elites” — a term he uttered at least 13 times over the 50-minute speech.
When discussing the business world, DeSantis repeatedly criticized America’s richest companies, particularly tech giants. At one point he even suggested that Facebook had censored COVID-19 information to protect its bottom line.
“There’s a difference between a free market economy, which we want, and corporatism in which the rules are jiggered to be able to help incumbent companies,” he said.
But there was one notable omission Monday: DeSantis didn’t bring up his ongoing dispute with Disney. It’s a subject he is reportedly mentioning less frequently these days on the campaign trail.
When the topic turned to Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve, DeSantis joined some of his GOP colleagues in saying he would undo the Fed’s dual mandate and force the agency to focus only on inflation.
“The Fed needs to have a limited role in this country, it’s not accountable to the electorate,” he said as he also renewed his criticism of a proposed central bank digital currency.
“I will appoint a chairman of the Federal Reserve who understands that,” DeSantis added.
His concern with elites also came up when DeSantis turned to topics like how he would reform the education system, his approach to labor markets, and taking on China.
“The elites sold us a bill of goods when it came to China,” he said at one point.
‘America handled it wrong’
It remains unclear if the newly populist focus from DeSantis will resonate with GOP voters who seem happy with Trump in spite of his many issues. On Monday, DeSantis was only willing to take on Trump himself obliquely.
“We as Americans do have to acknowledge that America handled it wrong,” he said at one point of the initial US response to COVID without naming Trump. DeSantis also name-checked the 2020 CARES act (which Trump signed into law) as a bill that “underwrote lengthy lockdowns.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign preemptively hit back against the DeSantis announcement with a memo outlining its take on DeSantis’ economic record, including challenges in his home state around rising home insurance rates and a growing Florida state budget under DeSantis.
Monday’s economic unveiling also comes ahead of a key first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, Wisc.
For his part, Trump further signaled Monday he would be skipping that debate, posting on Truth Social “Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!”
Source : Yahoo