Ron DeSantis tells wealthy donors Trump's China tariffs were 'not effective': report

The comment was made during a fundraising luncheon that cost $3,300 per person.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made a fundraising stop in Coalinga, California, speaking to 60 donors at the Harris Ranch. 

During his luncheon talk, which cost $3,300 per person, the GOP presidential candidate said that the tariffs placed by former President Donald Trump, who has consistently polled in first place among the Republican candidate field, on China were "not effective," according to GV Wire

The stop was low profile, with DeSantis flying into Coalinga airport and being taken to the back loading docks by unmarked Fresno County Sheriff’s vehicles.

The outlet noted that most media outlets were not allowed inside, with the exception of the San Joaquin Valley Sun.

During his speech, which came amid campaign stops in southern California, DeSantis blasted California Governor Gavin Newsom, noting the mass migration of Californians to his state, the San Joaquin Valley Sun reported.

Noting the lack of California license plates he saw growing up in Florida, DeSantis said, "Yet I become Governor, all of a sudden I start seeing all these California license plates, and more importantly my supporters notice all these California license plates, and they were concerned about the voting habits of the people with California license plates."

"But I must confess the people that are coming to Florida at least, they were coming for the right reasons. They saw that where they had lived, in some cases grew up, had been in some cases ruined like San Francisco by leftist policies. And they were coming to the free state of Florida because they knew we’d do it right," he added.

DeSantis said he was open to debating Newsom, who is rumored to be setting up a presidential run, but argued that he has already won against the California Democrat.

"We’ve already had the debate," DeSantis said. "It’s not that me and Newsom have ever gotten on the stage together, but the debate is basically the result of people voting with their feet and making that decision that has been in one direction fleeing out of California, fleeing into Florida."

Noting California banning the sales of new gas-powers cars by 2035, DeSantis said, "I don’t know how you guys are going to end up with 20 million electric cars on your current power grid."

"I shudder to even think about that. It’s not going to work, and that doesn’t work, so we need to be doing our own production – as much as we can. We will be by far No. 1 in the world. That will be better for people’s pocketbooks. It will be better for businesses, and it will make us more secure as a country."

DeSantis also addressed Biden’s border crisis, stating that if he were elected President of the United States, he would on his first day in office declare a national emergency to allow a southern border wall to be built and deploy the military to stop cartels.

"I do think we have to look at the Mexican drug cartels as akin to a terrorist organization," DeSantis said. "They are moving product into this country that is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year and probably going to continue to escalate until we see a change in policy."

"I think it’s humiliating what’s happening at the border for our country," he continued. "What type of country would just allow their population to be poisoned with really no pushback? And that’s exactly what’s happened under Biden. I’ll tell you, this is a huge weakness for him in the election. This is an issue that people realize is totally out of control, and they realize that he is either too inept or just unwilling to address."

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