Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says the Republican Party “cannot be wedded to corporate America” as corporations support values at odds with the nation’s working and middle class.
In an interview on Fox Nation’s Tucker Carlson Today, DeSantis said the GOP must break with corporate interests if it wants to remain a viable electoral force and protect its constituents.
“Do you think that the future for Republicans will be less tied to corporate values?” Carlson asked DeSantis, to which the governor responded:
Well, I think [the Republican Party] has to be [less tied to corporate values] … the larger issue of kind of corporate America, look if they’re going to virtue signal, if they’re going to engage in this woke type of stuff, if they’re going to try to put a thumb on this scale into state and federal politics, that’s something we have to consider. [Emphasis added]
One of the things that bugs me is they’ll virtue signal on some of this stuff, they know the media will love it and give them praise. Meanwhile, they’re engaging in horrific business practices overseas and doing all this stuff. [Emphasis added]
So some of this is very dishonest … we cannot be wedded to corporate America, both in terms of I think solid economic policy. That’s really not what I think traditional conservatism should be about. I think the D.C. Republican Party is kind of naturally fall into being a corporatist party but I don’t think that was Reagan’s vision, I don’t think that was Coolidge’s vision. [Emphasis added]
But then we also have to understand, these companies are standing for values that are really not middle America’s values and so why would we want to put them in the driver seat of national policy? So yes, it’s Big Tech, yes it’s some of these other companies. Even you see what Coca-Cola is doing with critical race theory. Some of this stuff is absolutely insane. [Emphasis added]
DeSantis said Republican lawmakers should be less concerned about the blowback they receive from corporations, noting that GOP voters are generally on their side on critical economic and cultural issues. DeSantis said:
Some folks may fear that if you take a strong stand, how’re these companies going to react? I flip that on its head and say, ‘Wait a minute, you’re telling me that I shouldn’t stand for the right thing because a company may then try to punish us? So what you’re saying is that the company should run the state.’ I don’t think that’s what most voters want. They don’t want these big companies running the state.
An NBC News survey from February reaffirmed that working and lower-middle-class Americans are Republicans thanks to former President Trump returning the party to its economic nationalist roots with labor protections, reductions to foreign competition, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.
Between 2010 and 2020, the Republican Party has gained 12 percentage points with working class Americans, while Democrats have lost eight percentage points with working class Americans.
White Americans in blue-collar jobs who now vote for the GOP jumped from 45 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2020, and blue-collar Hispanic support has gone from 23 percent in 2010 to 36 percent in 2020. Working class black Americans, as well, have increasingly supported Republicans over the last decade.
Carlson also asked DeSantis what his priorities would be if he were in the White House today. Getting a handle on illegal immigration and protecting the U.S. labor market from illegal foreign competition, DeSantis said, would be his main objectives:
Well, I would secure the border first of all. When you’re in these positions, things happen on your watch, I mean it’s not like you control everything. But this is created because of what Biden did. And so you’ve got to fix that, Trump had it right. [Emphasis added]
I would also do more. We banned sanctuary cities in Florida when I became governor. We did E-Verify for the first time, we fought the business lobby to do that. I would fight for those policies on the federal level as well because we’ve got to get this immigration situation under control. It’s not good for the country to have this going on all the time. [Emphasis added]
Reductions to overall immigration and less foreign competition in the U.S. labor market are widely popular policy proposals across party and racial lines.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,250 likely U.S. voters shows that nearly 7-in-10 support mandatory E-Verify, about 71 percent support reducing legal immigration levels, 64 percent oppose the process known as “chain migration” whereby legal immigrants can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S., 65 percent say it is better for businesses to recruit Americans than hire foreign workers, and 6-in-10 say the U.S. has enough talent for business to hire from.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.