ROCHESTER, N.H. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is vowing to take aim at China, government bureaucrats and what he describes as "the elites" as the Republican presidential candidate unveils a ten-point economic plan to "fight for the middle class."
Aiming to rebound against former President Donald Trump in the race for the GOP nomination and hoping to change the narrative in the wake of staffing layoffs by his campaign last week in a move to "streamline" his 2024 White House bid, DeSantis on Monday announced his "Declaration of Economic Independence."
The governor rolled out his policy proposals at an event with business owners and workers at a manufacturing facility in this blue-collar city in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary and second overall contest in the Republican nominating calendar.
"We must be a society in which Americans who work hard and give the most of their God-given ability are able to succeed, to afford to buy a home, a car and to raise a family," DeSantis said. "My promise is that I will always fight for our citizens, our families, our future, and our way of life – and I will never back down. We will take back control of our destiny — and ensure that our future is as proud, independent, and free as our past."
The DeSantis economic plan consists of ten key pillars and topping the list is what he says is taking back control of the nation’s economy from China and "restoring our economic sovereignty" by ending "our abusive relationship" with Beijing. The governor aims to reverse the nation’s increasing trade deficits with China, ban imports of goods made from stolen intellectual property, strengthen protections to stop child and forced labor, and end China’s preferential trade status, which would take approval from Congress.
DeSantis is also calling for achieving 3% growth by incentivizing investment, eliminating bureaucracy and red tape, and keeping taxes low, and unleashing "American energy independence."
The governor's economic plan also includes some of his anti-woke crusade, as it would beef up rules scrutinizing pension fund managers who consider climate change and other environmental factors when making investment decisions.
DeSantis also calls for reforming our education system and lowering barriers to entry for working class Americans, and creating a fair labor market by securing the nation’s borders and enforcing existing laws.
The governor also spotlighted reining in the Federal Reserve, opposing bailouts and holding bad economic actors responsible, and fighting what he called "reckless and wasteful federal spending."
Trump remains the commanding front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination as he makes his third straight White House run and has widened his double-digit lead over DeSantis since the Florida governor declared his candidacy over two months ago.
DeSantis rolled out his economic agenda hours after a new national poll by Siena College for The New York Times indicated Trump topping DeSantis 54%-17%, with the rest of the large field of GOP presidential contenders in the single digits.
Ahead of the governor’s speech, the pro-Trump super PAC MAGA Inc. took aim at DeSantis’ economic record in Florida, spotlighting that "Florida is facing a home insurance crisis," and charging that the governor has "proposed and followed through on massive spending increases."
The economy remains a top concern for American voters, who continue to give President Biden a failing grade on the issue. Even though fears of a recession appear to be subsiding and inflation has eased, more than three-quarters questioned in the most recent Fox News national poll said the economy was in fair or poor shape.