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Ron DeSantis was a member of the United States Navy. Use of his military rank, job titles and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

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DeSantis Stands Above the Rest and Wins Second GOP Primary Debate

“I've done it, while others have talked about it.”

SIMI VALLEY, CA - September 27, 2023

Ron DeSantis notched his second debate win tonight with a commanding performance at the Reagan Library by focusing on his bold vision to reverse American decline and restore the American dream.

Following the debate, Ron DeSantis for President campaign manager James Uthmeier said:

“Tonight, a passionate and visionary Ron DeSantis stood above the entirety of the Republican field, won the debate, and showed Americans watching at home why he is the only candidate prepared to reverse America’s decline as our next president.

“He successfully drove home his vision on how to lead a Great American Revival and reminded viewers at home that he is the only candidate who has delivered on key issues. From making Florida the number one state economy in the nation, to banning CCP land purchase, to firing Soros prosecutors and bringing Florida to a 50-year crime low, DeSantis has the proven record. As your president, he will get the job done.

“Ron DeSantis also called out Donald Trump for his failure to join the debate stage and defend his record to the American people, and his refusal to go out on the campaign trail and work to earn this nomination. The Trump strategy is to hide in the basement – and DeSantis reminded Republicans that you can’t beat Joe Biden by acting like Joe Biden.

“Donald Trump doesn’t want to show up because he is afraid to defend the failures of his administration and be reminded of the DeSantis success story on each of those fronts in Florida. From adding nearly $8 trillion to national debt and leaving the border wall unfinished, to failing drain the swamp and shutting our country down because Fauci said so, Trump has a lot to answer for.

“Our party – and nation – can’t afford the Republican nominee being ‘Missing In Action’. Ron DeSantis is notching big debate wins, outworking the competition, and creating strong momentum for our campaign on the ground in the early states. This two-man race is now entering a new phase and it’s game on.

The top moment of the night came when DeSantis said: “Donald Trump is missing in action.”

People in Washington are shutting down the American dream with their reckless behavior. They borrowed. They printed. They spent, and now you're paying more for everything. They are the reason for that they have shut down our national sovereignty by allowing our border to be wide open. So please spare me the crocodile tears for these people. They need to change what's going on. Where's Joe Biden? He's completely missing in action from leadership. And you know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight. He owes it to you to defend his record where they added 7.8 trillion to the debt. That set the stage for the inflation that we have. Now I can tell you this as governor of Florida: We cut taxes. We ran surpluses. We've paid down over 25% of our state debt. And I vetoed wasteful spending when it came to my desk. As your president, when they send me a bloating spending bill that's going to cause your prices to go up, I'm going to take out this veto pen, and I'm going to send it right back to them.”

Watch HERE.

Another big moment came when DeSantis slapped down the on-stage squabbling by saying:

Here's the thing that I find interesting. I appreciate a lot of the things they're saying. I'm the only one up here who's gotten in the big fights and has delivered big victories for the people of Florida. And that's what it's all about. You can always talk. But when it gets hot in there, when they're shooting arrows at you, are you going to stand up for parents’ rights? Keep the state free? Are you going to be able to do all those things? In the state of Florida, because of our success, the Democratic Party lies in ruins. We have won the big fights. We have turned our state into a Republican state. People respond to leadership. I've done it while others have talked about it.”

Watch HERE.