Senate hopefuls Ron DeSantis and Todd Wilcox spent their Sunday afternoons hashing it out over policy questions and the direction our country needs to go in at the 2016 Republican Primary Forum and Straw Poll, held at the Holiday Inn in Melbourne by the Republican Liberty Caucus of Central East Florida.

One thing both of them agreed on is that the country as it is now is headed in the wrong direction. Both of them expressed the common refrain of this political season: it’s time to do away with career politicians and return to the basic constitutional principles.

In his opening statement, Wilcox stressed that instead of more career politicians, they needed in office someone with “real life experience,” like him. Wilcox is the founder of the Patriot Defense Group, a defense contracting company that he states on his website has created over 600 jobs.

DeSantis said he was tired of the way the “ruling class” in Washington D.C. put itself ahead of the common people, and vowed to change that if he were elected.

Wilcox said campaigns financed by big money were a symptom of what was wrong in the election process. He boasted that he didn’t need to take money.

“Running for office is expensive,” he said. “It’s most expensive to do advertising. This is a broken system. We need some reform. Those who come without the means to support themselves are more susceptible to being bought out. I put over $1 million of my own money into my campaign.”

On the topic of whether or not to appoint President Barack Obama‘s supreme court nomination, Merrick Garland, to the now vacant seat after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, both men were strongly opposed.

“If we elect a liberal judge, they will erase the second amendment from the constitution,” DeSantis said. “They will erode religious liberties. They will infringe on the first amendment.”

They differed, however, in their opinion of how to approach Washington with their anti-establishment platforms. Wilcox said despite his stance against career politicians, he wanted to approach things with more nuance than his Tea Party and Freedom Caucus predecessors had done in the past.

“The last thing you want to do is throw grenades and Molotov cocktails,” he said. “I’ll assess the situation and find those I can work with. [DeSantis] says one thing and does another. He claims to be anti-establishment, but he voted for John Boehner. We need someone in office who will do what they say they’re going to.”

To this, DeSantis replied that it sounded like Wilcox “was already starting to work with Washington.”

“The Freedom Caucus is trying to change Washington,” he said, inquiring why Wilcox was against their efforts.

Both men, however, agreed that the forum defined the contrasts between them, and that attendees at the event now knew the choice they’d have to make at the polls.

One Response

  1. Larry Walters

    Where’s the rest of the story? Is this all they were asked about?
    What are their positions of Tax & immigration reform, sealing the borders, Health care?

    Reply

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