Republican presidential hopeful Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida says former President Donald Trump’s fingerprints are all the inflation hitting Americans’ wallets.
Mr. DeSantis said the economy was roaring before Mr. Trump, the GOP front-runner in the 2024 race, started heeding the advice of national health officials — including Dr. Anthony Fauci, then director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — by embracing lockdown and financial stimulus policies in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“The inflation that we’re dealing with today, the roots are really with those Trump-Fauci lockdowns in March of 2020,” Mr. DeSantis said Friday on KCCI’s “Coffee with the Candidate” in Iowa.
Mr. DeSantis is trying to slow Mr. Trump’s momentum ahead of the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the Republican nomination contests. Mr. DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are is running a distant second behind Mr. Trump.
Mr. DeSantis said the inflation that has gripped the nation came out of the Federal Reserve printing “all this money” to prop up the pandemic economy and Congress borrowing and spending trillions of dollars, including on Trump’s watch, to pay for it.
Mr. DeSantis said he was far more willing to push back against lockdown policies as governor of Florida, and the state’s economy benefited as a result.
“I think our record on the economy is second to none,” he said.
Mr. DeSantis said if he is elected president he will pursue an agenda that will boost the national economy.
“We’re going to have total energy independence,” he said. “We’re going to lower people’s gas prices. We’re going to stop Congress from spending so much money.
“Donald Trump did not do that,” he said. “He added a massive amount to the national debt. I’ll do that in a different direction.”