Tried and true vs. shiny and new? Trump vs. DeSantis 2024 on foreign policy

2DF9GY0 NYTVIRUS - President Donald Trump looks on as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis makes remarks during a meeting in the Oval Office, Tuesday, April 28, 2020 in Washington, DC, USA. Photo by Doug Mills/Pool/ABACAPRESS.COM

Op-ed by Summer Lane | Photo: Alamy

The 2024 political winds have shifted in the wake of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) decision to announce a presidential candidacy last week. Like it or not, the battle for the GOP primary nomination next year will likely have an overwhelming focus on the fiery sparring between DeSantis and the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Trump announced his candidacy to reclaim the White House in November 2022 during special remarks delivered at his home, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida. By contrast, Gov. DeSantis chose to announce his candidacy in late May during a Twitter Spaces meeting arranged and co-hosted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

A recent Fox News poll for the 2024 nomination

Arguably, Gov. DeSantis owes his governorship entirely to Trump, who endorsed the then-sinking Florida gubernatorial candidate in his bid to lead the Sunshine State. Politico reported in 2018 that Trump’s endorsement gave DeSantis a whopping 12-point lead right out of the gate.

While DeSantis has positioned himself to run as a candidate who will eliminate the scourge of “wokeism” in the United States, Trump has boldly put forth a clear-cut set of policy pitches in a months-long series of Agenda47 plans.

While most of Trump’s policies are known and tested, much about the DeSantis campaign platform is unknown and untested. DeSantis will undoubtedly move toward shaping his 2024 policy agenda as the months progress, but the question is: does America have the luxury of gambling on a fresh face when the world is perched on the precipice of a bloody world war?

Here are the main differences and similarities between DeSantis and Trump when it comes to the primary question of how these men plan on keeping the country protected from the potential threat of nuclear war.

Foreign policy: Trump

As Ukraine and Russia are violently duking it out in Eastern Europe, the tyrannical fist of the Chinese regime has turned its sights on the United States, daring to launch incursions on American territory with spy balloons, secret police, and the ongoing purchase of domestic farmland.

While in office, Trump heavily taxed Chinese goods and exports. He was also the first U.S. president in history to be invited into the Forbidden City to dine with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

As part of his Agenda47 platform, Trump has put forth an aggressive and simple plan to curb Chinese attacks on American supremacy by implementing universal tariffs on foreign producers, revoking China’s “Most Favored Nation” status, banning federal contracts for companies who outsource to China, and halting China’s purchasing of American farmland.

Trump has also taken a strong stance against illegal immigration

During Trump’s term in the White House, he additionally kept peace in Europe by cultivating a firm but fruitful relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He brokered the historic Abraham Accords in the Middle East, obliterated ISIS, and worked to secure the U.S. southern border by building 458 miles of new primary and secondary border wall by the end of his first term in office.

He also ended “Catch and Release,” replacing the broken immigration system with the Migrant Protection Protocols and Title 42 (which has now been allowed to expire by the Biden administration).

On foreign policy, Trump’s approach is simple and clear. He has a proven track record of maintaining peace at home and abroad. In fact, he told supporters in New Hampshire recently, “Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III, I promise. There’s not going to be a World War III.”

Trump’s strongest asset is his ability to make deals with even the most hostile foreign entity. A true businessman through and through, his approach to foreign policy is consistently bold, blunt, and aimed toward maintaining peaceful relationships.

Foreign policy: DeSantis

Gov. DeSantis has only just begun dipping his toes into the world of international politics. Prior to his official presidential announcement, the governor took an international diplomatic tour to countries like Japan, Israel, and the U.K., testing the transnational waters ahead of his candidacy.

As previously reported by RSBN, DeSantis has not yet brought forth a cut-and-dried foreign policy platform. In fact, the issue of overseas conflict was summarily omitted from his Twitter Spaces announcement and question-and-answer session with the press soon after.

According to Florida Politics, DeSantis voted in 2014 as a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives to send money to Ukraine via the Ukraine Support Act. However, in 2023, their report noted that DeSantis gave then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson the following response regarding whether the U.S. should support Ukrainian war efforts:

Conservative voters may be able to guess how the governor will shape his foreign policy platform based on his political record in the state of Florida. For example, DeSantis has taken a hardline stance against CCP influence in Florida.

“The CCP has done a really, really effective job in identifying some of the soft underbelly of American society and really focusing on academic infiltration and influence,” DeSantis stated earlier this year, per RSBN.

In early May, he signed three bills into law in the Sunshine State that blocked CCP influence in Florida with SB 264, SB 846, and SB 258.

Ret. general in Florida shares his thoughts on Gov. DeSantis

In an analysis from The New York Times, DeSantis seems to favor maintaining a “robust” military and has strongly supported the nation of Israel. DeSantis, of course, is a military veteran himself, having joined the U.S. Navy in 2004. According to Fox News, DeSantis was stationed in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq, and up until 2019, he was in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

His approach to securing the southern border is less clear than Trump’s at this point. DeSantis joined the chorus of Republican governors in 2022 who flew illegal migrants to “liberal” areas of the country, including Martha’s Vineyard. The political stunt was aimed at highlighting the hypocrisy of open-border advocates who were unwilling to harbor migrants in their own backyards.

During an interview on Fox News, DeSantis promised that he would finish building the wall at the southern border.

It seems that DeSantis has aligned himself with a conservative nationalistic policy mindset when it comes to assessing the threats of Russia and China, which many conservative voters will find attractive. He has also clearly maintained support for Israel. Per Fox, DeSantis has stated that he will soon announce his own policy agenda to address the threat of China.

However, it remains to be seen how the governor will specifically approach ending the war overseas and preventing a global firefight.

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