Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will combat the “deep state” and “start slitting throats on day one” if he is elected president in 2024, he said Sunday.
DeSantis made the statement during a Q&A session at a campaign barbeque event in New Hampshire on Sunday, telling the crowd that he intends to take on the entrenched officials in executive branch agencies.
“We’re going to have all of these deep state people, you know, we are going to start slitting throats on day one,” DeSantis said.
The violent terminology echoes DeSantis’ own ruthless campaign against political opponents in Florida, where he advanced conservative policies at a relentless pace.
The popular Florida governor has used the graphic imagery in prior interviews as well, saying last month that he would target officials in the Department of Defense.
“I think the idea that you take a flag [officer] or general officer who recently retired and put them as [secretary of defense], I think it is a mistake,” he told Real America’s Voice.
“You know, they may have to slit some throats. And it’s a lot harder to do that if these are people that you’ve trained with in the past,” DeSantis continued. “So we’re going to have somebody out there, you know, be very firm, very strong, but they are going to make sure that we have the best people in the best positions, and there’s not going to be necessarily prior relationships that would cloud that judgment.”
While former President Donald Trump first made a rallying cry out of opposition to the “deep state,” DeSantis has adopted the message, arguing that he is better suited to dismantle entrenched power in Washington given his experience in Florida.
DeSantis, however, remains a distant second to Trump in Republican primary polls. Trump has continued to surge, thanks in part to his campaign’s ability to capitalize on reactions to criminal indictments against him.