Nearly two years into the Trump Takeover of Washington, well over half of the folks inside the beltway still fight against our President’s bold agenda. Democrats have teamed up with insincere Republicans to block legislative victories in the Senate.
Bureaucrats lodged deep in agencies slow the impact of Trump’s demands. Low-level staffers leak private meetings. The Department of Justice has gone rogue. The Swamp, it turns out, fights back.
To sustain the Trump Revolution, we must empower Trump’s champions to drive positive change across America. And we must defeat “Never Trump” elements wherever we find them.
Florida’s Republican Primary for governor is a key battleground in this fight. Trump ally Ron DeSantis is running against Trump shade-thrower Adam Putnam.
In December, President Trump enthusiastically endorsed Ron DeSantis for Governor and recently doubled down during an appearance on Fox and Friends, referring to DeSantis as one of his “absolute warriors.” Trump’s support for DeSantis shook the Tallahassee establishment and they’ve begun to actively work to keep Trump out of Florida. In a May 8, 2018 article written by Florida Politics, an anonymous Putnam advisor stated, “We can raise Adam another thirty million dollars, but if Trump sets up camp at the Florida Fairgrounds, the race is over.” Such is the power of Donald Trump in a Florida Republican primary.
Adam Putnam’s “Never Trump” attitude has been overtaken only by his ambition to be governor.
After Trump secured the nomination, Putnam was asked if he would endorse Trump. His snarky reply: “I don’t envision a scenario where I would endorse Trump prior to the convention, and we’ll see what the convention yields.”
Putnam at one point even used Vice President Pence as an opportunity to take shots at Trump’s character, consistency, and conservatism. When asked to compare Pence to Trump Putnam responded, “He’d be about 180 degrees different. Mike Pence is a level, steady, consistent guy who is well-read, conservative rooted in sort of the founding philosophical documents of conservatism.”
While the Democrats were throwing the kitchen sink at Trump, the Hillary attack machine could always count on Adam Putnam to echo their narrative. “It makes me question how badly he [Trump] wants to win. He keeps running his mouth about the most ridiculous things…” During the same interview Putnam was asked if he will support Trump in November and he said, “I think I’ve said all I need to say about Trump today.”
On immigration, DeSantis has used his position on the House Judiciary Committee to advance the Trump Agenda. Ending chain migration, building the wall, and cracking down on sanctuary cities have been the thrust of his effort. Meanwhile, Adam Putnam has obstructed the immigration reforms President Trump needs.
President Trump supports e-verify. He and DeSantis understand that we will always have illegal immigration if employers are not held accountable. Putnam opposed e-verify in Florida and will fight against President Trump’s enforcement actions if elected. Apparently, the need for Putnam’s special-interest donors to get cheap labor outweighs the rule of law.
President Trump is draining the DC swamp by fighting against corporate welfare. Ron DeSantis has his back – opposing carve outs and giveaways to the ethanol industry. Putnam opposed a repeal of Florida’s ethanol mandate, siding with out-of-state corn growers over Florida boaters. I know because I drafted and passed the repeal over Putnam’s opposition. So much for Florida First.
Putnam didn’t stop there. As a congressman, he doubled-down on bailouts for Wall Street and the gimmickry of Obama’s cash-for-clunkers. As agriculture commissioner, Putnam sought corporate giveaways in the tax code, only to later admit that they failed.
President Trump knows he can trust Ron DeSantis to make tough decisions – even when accountability makes some swamp-creatures uncomfortable. When Congress was rocked by sex scandals and secret payoffs, DeSantis wrote legislation to reveal the harassers, force them to repay taxpayer-funded settlements, and ban future slush funds.
President Trump recently phoned a meeting of Tampa Republican activists. “We’ll be in Tampa very soon,” he proclaimed. I’m sure he will. And ‘absolute warrior’ Ron DeSantis will be by President Trump’s side – just as he always has been.
Rep. Matt Gaetz represents Florida’s First Congressional District.