Florida Governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis takes on the issue of spending in the latest ad released by his campaign and points the finger at both Democrats and Republicans in the process. The ad, released on Wednesday and shared by DeSantis himself on X (formerly Twitter), runs just under two minutes and lays out the gravity of the situation, explains how we got here, and sets forth DeSantis’ plan to tackle the issue.
When I’m president, the days of the DC Establishment spending this country into oblivion are over.
I’ve had enough of the elites imposing their will on us.
Now is the time for We the People to impose OUR will on them. pic.twitter.com/8abcHAUOB6
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) September 13, 2023
With somewhat ominous music playing in the background, the ad opens with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto intoning, “Are you sitting down? Our total debt now has just topped $32 trillion,” overlaying shots of the U.S. Capitol and the Federal Reserve.
DeSantis is shown during an interview asserting, “This government is spending way too much money — they’ve locked in the COVID era levels of spending, which are totally unsustainable.”
It cuts to several Fox News hosts discussing inflation and the fact that half of Americans say they’re worse off financially than a year ago.
We see DeSantis on the campaign trail, denouncing the overspending: “They borrowed, they printed, and they spent trillions and trillions of dollars since March of 2020, under the auspices of COVID and all these other things,” with the scene then cutting to hundred dollar bills being printed, followed by a cackling Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) enjoying her expensive ice cream in front of her mega-dollar fridge, and finally, to former President Donald Trump signing a bill over a chyron that reads: “Trump Signs $2T Coronavirus Stimulus.”
DeSantis continues: “Both parties have done it, both parties have been involved,” as we see President Joe Biden shaking hands with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). He continues, “…and actually, Republicans are very tough when they’re out of power, but when they get in power, you know, they basically go on a spending binge, too. And I think you’ve seen it over the last five or six years,” as we see a headline: “Under Donald Trump’s Watch, the National Debt Increased by $7.8 Trillion,” followed by a scene of Trump in the Oval Office, seated behind the Resolute Desk, thumbs up and grinning, flanked by McConnell, former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and former Vice President Mike Pence, also all smiles, in a not-so-subtle dig at DeSantis’ top rival for the GOP nomination in 2024.
We then hear DeSantis declaring, “I can tell you, in Florida, we run budget surpluses. We have the second-lowest per capita debt ratio in the entire country….We’ve paid down debt. I’ve vetoed billions and billions of dollars of excessive spending….As a president, you’ve got to be willing to lean in and use the veto pen to be able to battle against this excessive spending.” All of this overlays headlines touting DeSantis paying off $400 million in state debt and cutting $3 billion from the state budget, followed by a shot of Joe Biden looking grim, with his head bowed, with a shot of a shrugging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) thrown in for good measure.
DeSantis closes with: “We will stop the Congress from borrowing and spending this country into oblivion,” as we’re shown several more headlines regarding Trump signing spending bills. We then see brief cuts to Senator Lindsey Graham, Vice President Kamala Harris, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), McConnell, Schumer, and Pelosi as the music builds to a crescendo. “We need a radical reduction of the federal bureaucracy…We need a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We need term limits for members of Congress. The Swamp is not going to like it. But you know what? I’ve had enough of the Swamp imposing its will on us. Now’s the time We the People impose our will on it.”
Regardless of who one’s preference is among the GOP primary contenders, this ad sends a solid message, hitting all the right notes. It tackles a critical issue — one of the top concerns of Americans — places the blame for it squarely on current leadership as well as DeSantis’ top competition, distances him from “the Swamp,” and touts his leadership and successes. It’s a message likely to appeal to fiscal conservatives — be they Republican or independent voters — those frustrated with the federal bureaucracy, and those tired of the same old, same old when it comes to Washington and its long-in-the-tooth leadership.