DeSantis criticizes ‘palace intrigue’ of House speaker dilemma

DES MOINES — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis backs the current nominee to be the next speaker of the U-S House.

“(Ohio Congressman) Jim Jordan…I don’t know if he has the votes. I would vote for him if I were there. He’s a good man. He’s a good conservative,” DeSantis said. “But here’s the thing: what they’re showing the country is that they’re like chickens with their heads cut off. They can’t shoot straight. There’s a lot of drama and palace intrigue.”

DeSantis served three terms in the U.S. House before he was elected governor of Florida in 2018. DeSantis said Americans don’t see progress in congress on key issues like border security and controlling inflation.

“In Florida, we lead on substance and we produce results…We have no sideshows. It’s not about me. It’s not about creating drama. It’s about executing the mission and delivering for the people that you represent,” DeSantis said. “…So what’s happened up there (in Washington, D.C.), I don’t see them producing results.”

DeSantis spoke with Radio Iowa Saturday from his campaign bus, headed to events in southwest Iowa. DeSantis called last weekend’s terrorist attacks the gravest challenge Israel has faced in modern history and DeSantis said now is not the time for former President Trump to be airing personal grievances about Israel’s leader.

“In the aftermath of those attacks, Donald Trump decided to attack Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu,” DeSantis said, “and largely because Netanyahu congratulated Biden after the 2020 election and Trump has never spoken to him since and he dislikes Bibi as a result of that.”

During a speech Wednesday in Florida, Trump complained Netanyahu pulled Israel out of an operation that killed an Iranian general in 2020 and Trump said Israeli intelligence needs to step up their game. DeSantis said if he’s elected president, he won’t let personal issues cloud his judgement.

Friday, Trump posted a message on his Truth Social network, using the hashtags #IStandWithIsrael and #IStandWithBibi.

DeSantis, a Navy veteran, expressed support for Israel’s war aims. “What they need to do — and we need to support them doing this — is completely uproot, dismantle and eliminate Hamas as a terrorist group, their terrorist infrastructure so that this never happens again,” DeSantis said this morning. “When you have terrorists groups going in and beheading babies and massacring’s elderly people and raping women and putting it on video…they just can’t live with those people living on their border.”

DeSantis predicted in “the days and weeks ahead,” criticism of Israel from the United Nations, other countries and some elements of the Biden Administration will ramp up. “Think about what’s going on. Israel is telling people in Gaza, ‘Hey…leave, so you won’t get hurt.’…Hamas is telling those people to stay there so they could be used as human shields, so there is no moral equivalence in terms of what’s going on here, so we’ve got to back them to the hilt,” DeSantis told Radio Iowa. “This is a great challenge for them, but they need to do the job and finish it.”

DeSantis said “the impetus” for the attacks by Hamas may have been last week’s meeting among Israelis, Arabs and U-S leaders who’ve been working to create a formal diplomatic relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

“This could have been done with Saudi and Israel a long time ago. Biden has done really terrible with managing that relationship and so we are where we are” DeSantis said. “…Israel’s got to do what they’ve got to do. My sense is that the Saudis, behind the scenes, understand that.”

On Thursday, DeSantis signed an executive order authorizing planes from his state could be used to rescue Florida residents stranded in Israel. Saturday, DeSantis announced the first rescue flight from Israel should arrive in Florida Sunday morning.