Ron DeSantis Fires Back at Hillary Clinton’s Call for ‘Formal Deprogramming’ of Trump ‘Cult Members’

AP Photo/Josh Reynolds

Earlier on Friday, RedState brought you the disturbing story of recent comments twice-failed candidate for president Hillary Clinton made about supporters of former president and current GOP candidate for president, Donald Trump.

To quickly recap, during an interview Thursday with left-wing CNN host Christiane Amanpour, Clinton was asked about a way forward for so-called bipartisanship in Congress. 

She responded by saying that while there were some “sane” Republicans who had demonstrated a willingness to work with Democrats, things were a far cry from how they allegedly used to be when “we had very strong partisans in both parties in the past and we had very bitter battles” but were supposedly able to work together.

She went on to bemoan the “little tail of extremism” she says exists in the modern Republican party, and made an eye-opening call for a “formal deprogramming of the [MAGA] cult members.”

And she didn’t laugh afterward as though she was joking. Amanpour did, though. Watch:

On CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday, 2024 GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked about Clinton’s remarks. In response, DeSantis stated that he “rejected” what Clinton said wholeheartedly, noting that Trump supporters “were patriotic Americans who wanted to see the country do well,” and that they weren’t cultists. 

Though he indicated he understood that there would be some who would always stick with Trump, DeSantis also pointed out that some who were in the Trump camp were simply people who “appreciated what he did” when he was president but who also understood that he has “limitations in terms of his electability.” Afterward, DeSantis listed off what he says was Trump’s failure to deliver on some of his “core promises”:

Most Republicans “appreciate” what Trump did but “also understand that he’s got limitations in terms of his electability. He would be a lame duck on day one if he could even get elected. I think he’d have major problems with personnel. And of course he didn’t deliver on his core promises to drain the swamp, to have Mexico pay for the border wall, or to eliminate the debt. He added $7.8 trillion to the debt.


I think this is the right tone and tenor for DeSantis to take, not just because he knows he needs some of those voters but also because it’s a true statement. 

In my opinion, conservatives (myself included) can sometimes get too focused on the goings-on of the Very Online Right hardliners and their influencers, either ignoring or forgetting in the process that most Americans don’t care much about the online political wars and are open to listening to what all of the candidates say, not just their favorites, especially this early on in the process.

I remember, in 2016 and 2020, hearing people talk about “right-wing extremist” Trump Republicans and then recalling that I had many family members, offline and online friends, and colleagues who supported him but who weren’t anywhere close to fitting the cult-like caricatures that had been painted of them. They just wanted what was best for the country and were sick of promises made by past Republican leaders (in Congress and the White House) that weren’t kept.

Those same people were also big fans of DeSantis and though some of them are sticking by Trump now, others are paying attention to what the other candidates are saying and doing, including DeSantis, because they are interested in seeing a new face represent the GOP in the White House.

Eventually, a nominee is going to be chosen by voters and the party will be going forward with that person in hopes they can defeat the Democrat war machine that, each and every election cycle, is aided and abetted by the MSM. This is why I cringe when primary seasons roll around because Republican voters and the candidates themselves sometimes forget that we all have more in common than we realize, that we’re on the same page on most issues but just disagree on the best way to get there.

While there’s nothing wrong with disagreement, the levels it gets taken to in the primaries are increasingly unhealthy in my view, especially when there are candidates and supporters (and media figures, of course) who are not arguing in good faith. This leads to a lot of bitterness after the convention is over and concern that there won’t be a coalescing around whoever the nominee is, which makes it more challenging to finish first come election time.

In any event, props to DeSantis for handling the question the way he did. I’m not so sure some of the others would have done the same but then again, DeSantis hasn’t gotten where he is by not being able to read the room. He reads it well, and knows we’ll need all hands on deck post-Republican National Convention — no matter who the nominee is.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here