Florida Rep. Byron Donalds appeared to stump NBC “Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd during a Sunday interview after the host asked the GOP lawmaker why he supports former President Donald Trump over his state’s own governor, Ron DeSantis, in a hypothetical Republican primary.
“To me, it’s not really about Donald Trump versus Ron DeSantis. It’s about what America needs,” Donalds said.
Here’s a partial transcript of the exchange:
CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you about the presidential race. So we’ve got more on the debt ceiling than I think either one of us expected. I want to play your celebration of Governor DeSantis and ask about it on the other side… Obviously, you chose to support right now Donald Trump instead of who you described as America’s governor. What could Governor DeSantis had done to convince you to stick with him and not the former president?
REP. BYRON DONALDS: Well, first of all, that speech was pretty good. Like, you got to acknowledge that that was good stuff anyway.
Look, to me, it’s not really about Donald Trump versus Ron DeSantis. It’s about what America needs. And that’s where I’ve been really since day one. We I talked a little bit about foreign policy in the last block. We have a situation right now where Russia is on the move and China is on the move. We need somebody who can step in day one. Look at Vladimir Putin. Look at Xi Jinping and say, “Okay, enough, I’m back. We’re gonna get everything.”
CHUCK TODD: You don’t think DeSantis has that ability?
REP. BYRON DONALDS: I think it’s going to take some time. I think there’s only one person who has that ability right now. And it’s Donald Trump. And for all the naysayers who would say, “Oh. He’s unpredictable. Oh. We don’t know what he’s going to do,” let’s be very clear. When he was president of the United States, the world was in a much safer place. Nobody can say that the world is safer now than when it was when he was president.