*Please note: This article is a student blog written by a Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador. The Ambassador Program is a unique opportunity for Saint Anselm College students of any major to be involved in supporting the Institute's various events and activities. To learn more about our student ambassadors please visit the NHIOP website.

On Friday, October 13th, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis made a campaign stop at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) for Politics & Eggs, an event co-sponsored by the New England Council. Saint Anselm College has hosted every major presidential candidate, Republican and Democrat, since John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960. Most of these visits in recent decades have occurred in the form of this event, where the candidate customarily signs a wooden egg to mark his or her visit.

Ron DeSantis at the NHIOP behind a podium

DeSantis made a special note to discuss his time living in New England, including his education at Yale and Harvard and his visits to Fenway Park. He even mentioned his time being a Red Sox fan for those years. The governor made a note to discuss, and extend his sympathies, to Israel, saying that the new war between Israel and Hamas reminds him of his time serving as a JAG officer in Iraq after 9/11. Later in answering questions, Governor DeSantis stated that he firmly supports Israel’s right to defend itself, citing constant situations where Israel agreed to a two-state policy while the ethnic Arabs of the region, the Palestinians, declined. Additionally, he cited that he is concerned about Americans who have allegedly reasserted their support for Palestine right after this crisis. The governor concluded by asserting that, if elected, he will cut all financial ties with Iran, who knowingly supports Hamas, and prepare to bring civilians back the United States if the conflict spirals out of control.

DeSantis, if elected, promised to begin a “rebirth of freedom” across the board in the United States, citing the national debt, an alleged excess of red tape in the federal bureaucracy, and an alleged weakness in the Biden administration’s handling of foreign policy. Alongside these issues, the governor argued that the border crisis is hurting not only our national security, but the epidemic of opioids. DeSantis vowed to secure the border, complete the wall, find a way to make Mexico pay for the wall indirectly via trade and migrant policy (thus fulfilling former President Trump’s broken promise that Mexico would pay for the wall), and get the military to pursue and fight the drug cartels.

Ron DeSantis signing an egg

Governor DeSantis also commented on reforming education to keep critical race theory and gender ideology out of schools, expand education opportunities, hold the bureaucracy accountable, and crack down on crime.

Besides presenting his agenda, DeSantis argued that he is fit to be president because he is the only candidate who has kept his promises in the past, as governor of Florida. He cited his work on education, especially through school choice, his work with holding corporations and organizations accountable for alleged ideological and political advances, his preventing China from purchasing land in Florida, his establishment of an opioid recovery network, and his handling of the pandemic of 2020.

Governor DeSantis stated that the 2024 election is a make-or-break election, that either the Republican Party will stop “making excuses” and get their head in the game, or the United States will continue itself into an increasingly deeper hole.

After his prepared remarks, the governor participated in a Q&A session moderated by the New England Council.  He then posed for photos with audience members and Saint Anselm students.

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