During a recent radio interview, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis mentioned that if he were president, he imagines significantly expanding the U.S. Navy as a deterrent against potential conflict with communist China.
While discussing various topics with Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, DeSantis commented on his criteria for selecting a vice presidential candidate and an attorney general nominee, the Daily Wirereports.
During a conversation about the challenges China presents to the U.S., DeSantis emphasized the necessity of “a whole of society approach to fending off the CCP.”
“This is our top threat. This decade will be the decisive decade,” DeSantis stated.
“This is a military confrontation, perhaps, a technological, economic, cultural, all of those things. We need to be, have national policy geared towards fending off the CCP. And I think that Washington’s policy, the D.C. kind of smart tank, they’ve had all bark and very little bite with respect to China. I think on the current course, China will surpass us as we get into the next decade," he added.
He stated that enhancing the U.S.'s "hard power" in the Indo-Pacific region is one of the primary measures to deter conflict.
“We are going to have a Naval buildup,” he said.
“We’ll have, we’ll shoot for 355 ships after the first term. And we’ll get to 385 ships after term two. But I think even more importantly than that, reinvigorating our Defense industrial base and our shipbuilding capacity so that within 20 years, we could get close to 600 ships.”
DeSantis added that the U.S. could deal with issues with Russia by “using the leverage that we have at our disposal,” which he said involved energy policy.
He mentioned another significant shift he'd advocate for would be selecting a Secretary of Defense from outside the U.S. Military, believing that external appointees could more effectively hold individuals accountable since they aren't part of the club.
Hewitt then questioned DeSantis on a running mate, noting that he wants to see a "generational change," warning it would be a bad idea to pick an older candidate.
“I think you’re exactly right,” DeSantis said.
“I think doing, Biden shows you doing those other considerations what, that got you. You know, he did Kamala Harris, and the problem is the number one thing you have to get is somebody that can do the job. Number two is somebody that shares your vision and shares your priorities, and yes, as you say, that can articulate that and be a good spokesman for it. And so that’s what I would look for.”
DeSantis emphasized the importance of making the right choice for his running mate, noting that it would essentially be one of his first big decisions and he will be judged by it.
“It’s a window into your executive decision making, and so you’ve got to get that right,” he said.
“But the most important thing is someone, you’re on that stage with someone, you’re waving. They say that person can be president, and that person is somebody that shares the governor’s agenda.”
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