TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis claimed “every urban core” in the U.S. “is a disaster zone” in an interview with CNBC on Monday.
Speaking with ‘Last Call’ host Brian Sullivan, DeSantis discussed a recent New York Times/Siena poll that showed Republican primary voters prefer a candidate focused on “restoring law and order” rather than “defeating radical ‘woke’ ideology,” which is a staple of DeSantis’ platform.
“Honestly, I think all this is kind of one in the same,” DeSantis said. “Because, like, you’re right – the law and order – but we can’t be successful as a country if every urban core in our country is a disaster zone.”
“Well, it’s not,” Sullivan said. “Not every urban core.”
DeSantis listed San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York City as examples of cities that he believes have “declined significantly.”
“And the number one reason is lack of law and order,” DeSantis said. “That’s something we take very seriously in Florida.”
DeSantis said crime is “at a 50-year low” in the state, referring to an often-cited Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) report. Critics have claimed the report is not necessarily a complete picture of crime in the state, as it includes 2021 crime data from law enforcement agencies representing just 57.5% of Florida’s population.
The Governor said the federal government has “a role” in reducing crime. He suggested that as president, his administration would crack down on so-called “rogue” prosecutors, like duly-elected Florida state attorneys Andrew Warren and Monique Worrell, who were suspended by him.
DeSantis doubled down on his “disaster zone” rhetoric after making similar comments while discussing education during a “fairside chat” at the Iowa State Fair.
“You look at these urban areas in this country, some of them are like war zones,” DeSantis told Iowa Gov. Kimberly Reynolds on Saturday. “You can’t be successful if every urban area is decaying.”
DeSantis cited “horrible” public schools as the reason for the “decay” and touted his “school choice” policy as an alternative.