FL-Sen: DeSantis (R), "Bringing Gitmo Detainees to U.S. Creates a Whole Host of Problems" 

FL-Sen: DeSantis (R), "Bringing Gitmo Detainees to U.S. Creates a Whole Host of Problems"

In Florida, both parties have heated primaries in the race to succeed outgoing Senator Marco Rubio's (R. FL) seat. I've written about the Democratic primary between Reps. Patrick Murphy (D. FL) and Alan Grayson (D. FL). I'm still on the fence over who I will support in that primary but the GOP side is much more crowded. But the Tea Party and conservative groups have found their candidate in Rep. Ron DeSantis (R. FL). DeSantis is trying to be the pure conservative candidate in this race and he's been doing a lot to scare people into supporting him. His latest fear-mongering topic: preventing President Obama from closing Guantanamo Bay:


Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is the latest lawmaker to warn about moving these foreign enemies to military prisons in the United States.

"When I was on active duty in the Navy several years ago, I actually served in Guantanamo for a time," DeSantis told Fox News on Monday. He noted that the number of detainees has dwindled over the years, "and there's really no doubt that everybody who is in that detention facility is a threat.


"Now, when you bring them to the United States, I think you're creating security issues. Guantanamo is one of the most secure facilities you could have. But you are also going to run into legal problems because, if there are any federal facilities on U.S. soil, there will be judges who are going to issue a writ of habeas corpus, and you either got to take them to trial or you got to release them at that time.


"So I think this creates a whole host of problems. And Congress, I think on a bipartisan basis, will oppose removing terrorists from Guantanamo and bringing them to the United States."


DeSantis said it would endanger Americans to try the detainees in American courts:

"The problem with that is that these guys were not common criminals. They were picked up on the battlefield in places like Tora Bora in Afghanistan. And so we don`t have CSI teams out there in the middle of combat. You capture, you kill people who you're fighting.


"And when you capture people, you detain them and they're detained because they're a security risk to the country. I don't want to set a precedent where the people that we capture in wartime end up in an Article 3 court and you have got to convict them beyond a reasonable doubt, because guess what? That's going to require our service member to have to go out in the middle of a hostile fire zone and collect evidence. And that is not what we want them to do. It would actually cost American lives." - CNS News, 9/8/15

DeSantis is backed by the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund and FreedomWorks and is trying to be the anti-establishment candidate in his primary:


Like many in the GOP, DeSantis gets the dissatisfaction that Republican voters are feeling toward Washington these days in the summer of Donald Trump. He says it’s been a colossal disappointment that a Republican House and Republican Senate haven’t passed more bills, even if it simply means daring President Obama to pull out his veto pen.

“There are millions of Republican voters throughout the country who are demoralized, depressed and dejected about what’s happened since we took over the Senate in November. And that’s just a fact,” he declares. “We’re in a representative business. I mean, the people who walk streets for us, who knock on doors, who donate money, who do all that stuff they do … you need to represent when you get up there, basically (do) what you told them you’d do, and if the gap gets big, well, those folks are either going to stop supporting you or look elsewhere or what not, and so I think that there’s been a lot of disappointment.”


DeSantis says that with Republicans needing 60 votes to pass bills in the Senate, it’s simply not as easy to pass legislation as he and Republican everywhere would hope could be the case since they control Congress.


“I’m realistic. I understand separation of powers, checks and balances. Obama still has the veto pen, but I really did think that we would be able to put a lot of legislation on his desk. I thought we’d be forcing a lot of vetoes and that hasn’t happened, and so I sit here today thinking that we could be doing a lot more.”


He said he’s doing his part, reciting pieces of legislation he’s offered or supported since his election nearly three years ago: term-limits, a balanced budget amendment, eliminating congressional pensions. “I mean, let’s show the American people that we’re not a separate, elite governing class, that we’re a servant class, and that we’re actually listening to them. I think that if we did that, the beauty of that if you started doing that, the voters listen to you on a whole host of different issues.


DeSantis is a hawk on immigration, yet he’s not about to go down the path of some GOP presidential candidates have in trying make the argument that the 14th Amendment can be overturned in the courts. - Saint Peters Blog, 9/8/15

Ir remains to be seen who will come out the victor in the GOP primary between DeSantis, Rep. David Jolly (R. FL) and Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R. FL) but all of them are predicting Murphy will be the Democratic nominee and they all have been hitting Murphy on this:


Yesterday, Democrat Patrick Murphy announced his support for the “flawed” deal and portrayed it as a way to stop war. Ron DeSantis, one of a handful of Republicans running for the nomination, went after Murphy today.

"Patrick Murphy's decision to support a deal that infuses the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism with $150 billion, confers international legitimacy on Iran's expansive nuclear program, and even allows Iran to inspect its own military sites demonstrates a lack of judgment and inexperience in matters of national security,” DeSantis said in a news release. "While Murphy thinks this deal will lead to 'peace in our time,' the Iran agreement will make the Middle East more volatile, increase the likelihood of war, and undermine the security of the United States."


"It is a cruel irony that Murphy cites casualties incurred by U.S. troops in Iraq as justification for supporting a deal that lifts sanctions on Qassem Soleimani and the Quds Force, who were responsible for the deaths of many hundreds of our troops during the time many of us served there,” continued DeSantis. "The fact is that Soleimani and his Quds Force will, despite American blood on their hands, receive a major boost from this agreement." - Tampa Bay Times, 9/1/15



After Jupiter U.S. Rep. and U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy announced his support for the deal on Monday, he earned the scorn of Republicans throughout the state, including Pinellas County U.S. Rep. and GOP Senate candidate David Jolly, who could potentially square off against Murphy in next year’s Senate race.

“Patrick Murphy made the wrong decision on this one,” Jolly said on Wednesday after appearing at a press conference at Tampa International Airport. “I’ve opposed the deal because it creates a nuclear pathway and enriches Iran, and I don’t think we have the intelligence resources to monitor the deal.”


Jolly said that he was also “somewhat surprised” by Murphy’s vote, but added that he’s been surprised by “a lot of Democrats” who said have voted along party lines in supporting the deal worked on by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.  To date, only two Democratic senators — New York’s Chuck Schumer and New Jersey’s Bob Menendez — have come out to oppose it.


One Democrat who hasn’t announced how he’s going to vote on the issue is Orlando U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who is another potential Jolly opponent in next year’s Senate race. Grayson has said he won’t make a decision until the time to vote approaches. Congress is scheduled to vote on the issue by September 17. - Saint Peters Blog, 9/2/15



Lopez-Cantera wants to square off on the subject with Murphy at a Florida town hall.

“He chose partisan politics over our national interests and the survival of our closest ally,” Lopez-Cantera said in a reference to concerns that the agreement poses a threat to Israel.


“The people of Florida deserve more than a press release if he wants to serve in the U.S. Senate; they deserve to see him defend his decision here at home, not from inside the Beltway.


“I’ve committed to monthly town halls if elected. Murphy should at least agree to one,” he said.


Murphy and Sen. Bill Nelson so far are the only Florida Democrats in Congress who have endorsed the agreement. Both have called it flawed but the best option available. - Palm Beach Post, 9/3/15

While Grayson has the better voting record, I applaud Murphy for being on the right side of this issue. How Grayson votes for this deal will be the determining factor for me. Even DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D. FL) has endorsed the deal. If you want to put the pressure on Grayson to support the deal, here's his contact info: