President candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis does not apologize for his promise to “slit the throats” of bureaucrats in the federal government if elected.
The Florida governor was asked by MSNBC’s Willie Geist on Thursday if he regretted using such violent imagery.
“We’re going to have all of these deep state people, you know, we are going to start slitting throats on day one,” DeSantis said during a Q&A session in August.
DeSantis told Geist that he had no regrets about the language he used “because you’re, you’re being colorful at some of the stuff but you basically need to bring in serious accountability.”
He told the host, “Obviously, we’re going to do that within the context of the rule of law in the Constitution. But I want to make very clear to voters that I’m not just going to go up there and be nice about it.”
The governor has made rooting out political corruption and cronyism in the federal government a key promise of his presidential campaign.
DeSantis has acknowledged a need for reform on political appointments reaching all the way to the top positions of the executive branch.
“I think the idea that you take a flag [officer] or general officer who recently retired and put them as [secretary of defense], I think it is a mistake,” he told Real America’s Voice earlier this year.
“You know, they may have to slit some throats. And it’s a lot harder to do that if these are people that you’ve trained with in the past,” DeSantis continued. “So we’re going to have somebody out there, you know, be very firm, very strong, but they are going to make sure that we have the best people in the best positions, and there’s not going to be necessarily prior relationships that would cloud that judgment.”
DeSantis was once solidly in second place in the race for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, but he has seen his numbers in the surveys erode in recent months as former President Trump expanded his lead over the Florida governor.
The latest presidential power rankings from Fox News shows Trump with a commanding lead but with two candidates in the best position to “reshape” the race with a strong showing in Iowa, DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
The latest Real Clear Politics average shows Trump at 48.8% in Iowa followed by DeSantis at 17.3% and Haley at 11.5%.
Fox News Digital’s Andrew Mark Miller, Paul Steinhauser, Charlie Gasparino, and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.