WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - Florida Governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis spoke with Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan on Sunday about what he would do as commander-in-chief about the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
"Well, one Israel has a right to defend itself to the hilt, and that means the complete elimination of Hamas, the eradication of their terrorist infrastructure. Israel has put out warnings to civilians about where Israel's gonna conduct operations and is told civilians there to leave the area. Hamas is telling those civilians to stay in the area. So they're using the civilians as human shields. So of course, when you're in war, you wanna avoid that. But if there are civilian casualties, that's the fault of Hamas. That's not gonna be the fault of Israel."Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Flor.)
During the interview, Brennan asked DeSantis about his comments on Saturday about not accepting refugees from Gaza, with DeSantis adding, "If you look at how they behave, not all of them are Hamas, but they are all anti-Semitic," DeSantis doubled down on his comments saying:
"First of all, uh, my position's very clear...Those Gaza refugees, Palestinian Arab, should go to Arab countries. The U.S. should not be absorbing...any of those, I think the culture. So they elected Hamas. Let's just be clear about that. Not everyone's a member of Pomo, most probably aren't, but they did elect Hamas...there was a lot of celebrating of those attacks...in the Gaza strip...by a lot of those folks who were not Hamas. But if you look at their education system, this has been an issue for a long time. They teach kids to hate Jews. The textbooks do not have Israel, even on the map...They prepare very young kids to commit terrorist, to attacks. So I think it's a toxic culture. And I think if we were to import large numbers of those to the United States, I think it would increase anti-semitism in this country. And I think it would increase anti-Americanism in this country. And that's something after seeing those demonstrations pop up in our country, just with blood still flowing amongst Israeli citizens over the weekend...you had people taking to the streets, cheering on the barber of Hamas in our own country. That was a chilling thing to see...and I don't think that that's something that we should ever think is acceptable."
U.S. funding to foreign affairs and southern border
Later in the interview, Brennan and DeSantis talked about the United States funding in foreign affairs. Brennan asked if DeSantis, who said he didn't want to give a blank check to Ukraine, want to give Israel a blank check, to which DeSantis responded with:
"No, I think that there's actually two different things. One with Israel, we've provided a lot of support since its inception about $158 billion in the last 75 years. We've done over $120 billion just for Ukraine in two years. So, it's a different level that we're talking about. Also with Israel...they've never asked us to displace their responsibility. They take their defense very seriously. What we do compliments and supplements what they're already doing for themselves, but they are not going to ask us to fight this war for them. We have a longstanding security relationship. They are very strong and long standing ally, and we'll be willing to support in the traditional ways that we have."
Before the interview concluded, Brennan and DeSantis spoke about cartel members bringing fentanyl into the US and border security, with DeSantis being asked about his past comments about authorizing the U.S. military to go to the border and shoot cartel members.
"Cartels are invading this country and they are killing tens of thousands of our fellow citizens with fentanyl. And this is happening in communities all across our country. We have every right and duty to fight back against that. It's typical how you would have with law enforcement or military. You define rules of engagement. They have positively identify somebody that's hostile, either action or intent and they engage, but we are going to engage the days of our communities being ravaged by fentanyl are gonna be over. Yes, we're gonna stop the invasion. Yes. We're gonna build the wall. We're gonna do all those things. We'll deport people when they come illegally, but you have to hold the cartels accountable and I'll do that as commander in chief."Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Flor.)