South Carolina – Florida’s Governor spoke to voters in South Carolina and said that he believes the U.S. should maintain an all-volunteer military, partly because Americans aren’t in good enough condition to serve.
DeSantis struggles to secure support from GOP voters
While giving this speech in South Carolina, Governor DeSantis is facing challenges in gaining strong support from Republican voters. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is becoming more popular and might soon be second in the GOP primary race. In the Iowa primaries, former President Trump was the clear front-runner, winning over half the votes. He seemed to have strong backing from important groups like White evangelicals and very conservative voters.
In terms of delegate counts, Trump secured at least 20 out of 40, while DeSantis got eight, and Nikki Haley got seven, based on initial counts. DeSantis had a little over 21% of the votes, with Haley close behind him. Another candidate, Ramaswamy, received about 8% of the votes and three delegates.
DeSantis on the military if he becomes president
During his South Carolina speech, Ron DeSantis also talked about his plans for the military if he becomes President.
“If you just start drafting people, I mean, there’s a lot of folks that don’t have the physical standards. There’s a lot, I mean, I think there would be a lot of problems with that. So we need to recruit in the all-volunteer force,” DeSantis said.
The Governor’s remarks suggest he’s concerned about the current generation’s physical fitness levels.
For instance, the U.S. Army’s fitness test includes various exercises like deadlifts, power throws, push-ups, planking, and a two-mile run, all within 50 minutes.
The Governor pointed out that if elected President, he’d be the first veteran to hold the office since George H.W. Bush in 1988. He didn’t mention George W. Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard in this context. He also mentioned that ideological beliefs might be a reason why fewer people are enlisting in the military.
He expressed concern that if people are put off by the military being used for purposes they don’t agree with, they might choose different career paths. This, he fears, could weaken the U.S.’s ability to deter threats like China and maintain national strength due to a decline in military recruitment.
Last year in South Carolina, DeSantis introduced a plan to eliminate what he calls the “woke mind virus” from the military. His recent visit to this state, known for its large veteran population, shows he’s trying to connect with those who have also served in the military.