Grayson: Democrats ‘struggle’ in Florida as Crist challenges DeSantis
SHANNON LONGWORTH: Florida once decided the presidency by just 537 votes, but it could look solidly red after night. Joining me to talk about the state and trends we’re seeing among voters is Alan Grayson, former Democratic Representative of Florida’s eighth congressional district. We hear a lot about the issue of abortion, some say reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision has come and gone with inflation now dominating the conversation. What are your thoughts?
FORMER REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D-FL): No, I think that for many people, abortion is the issue. And there’s people on both sides who feel that way. What’s happening is that the Democrats are finding it difficult to come into votes, as the Republicans do all the time throughout the country. In other words, in their case, there are anti choice voters who will vote on a single issue basis, in our case, much less so despite the fact that it’s parsa that’s really suffering at this. So I think that may change over time. I certainly hope that it does. I want people to understand the connection between their votes and their rights.
LONGWORTH: One of the major concerns that’s clearly been on the minds of voters is gas prices, you’ve expressed concern about us dependency on foreign oil, is there is this a bipartisan issue? Or are both parties looking at different solutions?
GRAYSON: I don’t think the Republicans have a feasible solution to the problem. I’ve heard for many years. Now their solution is drill baby drill. We’re already drilling like crazy, the depletion rates from fracking are very, very high. And even if we are temporarily energy independent, it can’t possibly last one, you’re looking at depletion rates of 20 to 30% each year. So the question is, what else can be done? Personally, what I’ve proposed is a decrease in the gas tax. I think prices are high enough already hasn’t caught on, oddly enough with the Democrats. But the Republicans here in Florida temporarily implemented that. That’s the kind of relief that people really appreciate at a time like this. And when you think about it, the government, federal government taxes very little
than gas tax on driving doesn’t seem to be the way to go these days. So yes, the price of gas is very high. There’s a direct solution, that problem I hope that people will think it through in both parties.
LONGWORTH: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, looks like he’ll walk to reelection against former Governor Charlie Crist. This is obviously Chris, third run for governor after losing to Rick Scott in 2014. Are Democrats having trouble finding new blood in Florida?
GRAYSON: I don’t think that’s the issue. I think that they’re having trouble galvanizing their vote. You know, someone on our side looks at Charlie Chris, and at this point is certainly a familiar face. But not somebody who really seems to be able to sharpen the difference that exists in people’s minds. The fact is that Ron DeSantis is possibly, I’d say probably the worst governor in the country. His COVID policies were absolutely horrific, absolutely horrific, and endangered and worse than dangered, many, many 1000s of people, someone as wrongheaded as that someone who shows such an enormous disregard for the well being of others, doesn’t deserve the anywhere near power. And somehow or other, the Democrats haven’t been able to sharpen that obvious difference between our perspective, the other side’s perspective, you know, the certainly there’s a there’s, if there’s a right to guns, then there’s a right to be free of threat of guns. If there’s if there’s a right not to get vaccinated, there’s a right not to be terribly close to someone who isn’t vaccinated, and so on. And the other side has, again galvanized their vote by trying to make it a question of people’s rights. When in fact, the real question is, what about respect for others? And what about wellbeing for everybody? The greatest good for the greatest number? We haven’t been able to get that point across. Well, it’s not a function of new blood or old blood. It’s a function of clarity of thinking, and Scharping the differences between us and them?
LONGWORTH: How do you think that can be done better in the future?
GRAYSON: Oh, I think that we Democrats need to get over our credibility problem. We have long been a party in Florida in search of an issue or reason for being. I take no pleasure in saying that it’s just something that’s pretty obvious to anybody has been here for a while. At one party get together a couple of years ago, the party formed a committee in order to decide whether it should have a platform or not. That’s the kind of mushy thinking that doesn’t appeal to anybody. I think that for sure most people in Florida are pro choice. I have no doubt about that. I think that there are other issues where the great majority of common sense Floridians would actually be on our side. But we don’t sell it to people the way that the other side does relentlessly, even if what they’re saying is total nonsense. So that’s what we have to do. We have to do the hard everyday work of convincing people that we will make their lives better. But if they turned to us instead of them.
LONGWORTH: Going back to Governor DeSantis, he seems to be near the top of the field of potential presidential candidates in 2024. President Trump recently took a shot at him doubling him to sanctimonious Do you see him announcing a run for the nation’s highest office in the next year?
GRAYSON: Yes, I do. And I feel very uneasy about it. Ron DeSantis, somebody who I served with in Congress, he and I had many conversations together. While we were both in Congress. In fact, when I ran for the Senate in 2016, he also ran for the Senate, and dropped, dropped back from that race, and then went on to be governor. He is one of the worst people in public life in Florida today. And one of the worst people around the country. It will be an absolute disaster for the country of Ron DeSantis is elected president. It’s already a disaster for Florida, that Ron DeSantis has the kind of power and abuses the power the way that he does. So yes, I think he’ll run. I really hope with all my heart that if he runs, he loses, and thanks to turn limits here in Florida. Even if he wins today. We won’t have to deal with him forever. He’s got four years ago and then he’s out.
LONGWORTH: Okay, former Democratic Representative of Florida’s eighth congressional district. Alan Grayson, thank you for being with us.
GRAYSON: My pleasure. Thank you very much.