DeSantis Flies Into South Carolina to Push for Congressional Term Limits

February 21, 2024 by Dan McCue
DeSantis Flies Into South Carolina to Push for Congressional Term Limits
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made a largely unheralded visit to South Carolina’s state Capitol on Tuesday hoping to encourage lawmakers here to join his quest to impose term limits on members of Congress.

Specifically, DeSantis, who dropped his own bid for the Republican nomination for president in January, wants lawmakers in South Carolina and every state he can muster to take part in a constitutional convention that would change what he sees as an unsatisfactory status quo.

“The one thing I’ve noticed is it doesn’t matter if you’re Republican, Democrat, independent, male, female, White, Black, rich, poor — people support term limits for members of Congress,” DeSantis told reporters.

“We’ve seen what’s happened up there. It’s been really poor performance for decades now. The incentives are not right. We need to change the incentives,” he said.

His remarks come just a week before the first of two deadlines, March 1 and 8, to avoid a government shutdown.

“My hope is that states, particularly states that want to see big changes in Washington, will use the power that they have to advance these really important proposals like term limits,” he said.

But critics of the governor, including DeSantis Watch, a project of Florida Watch and the progressive group Progress Florida, dismissed DeSantis’ visit to the Palmetto State as a waste of taxpayer dollars in a bid to “remain relevant to a national audience.”

Ahead of the governor’s remarks, DeSantis Watch Communications Director Anders Croy released the following statement:

“Back home in Florida, working families and seniors are looking for solutions to the nation’s highest property and auto insurance premiums, out-of-control housing costs, and skyrocketing utility bills but Ron DeSantis can’t give up the lost cause of his presidential ambitions long enough to even pretend to care about the issues that matter to his actual constituents.

“Instead of looking to give the next governor a raise, maybe legislators in Tallahassee this session should examine docking the pay of the part-time chief executive with a penchant for elite tastes who continues to use Floridians’ tax dollars as a credit card for his own political ambitions,” Coy said.

Asked on Tuesday whether he was positioning himself for the 2028 presidential campaign, DeSantis said, “It’s not about that.”

“When I was running, I said I would use the bully pulpit to help do this,” he continued. “Well now that we’re here, where we are, I’ve told folks that are supportive of the term limits movement, ‘Put me in. If there’s a way I can be helpful, if it’s me going and speaking to different folks throughout the country that are in state legislative chambers, I’m happy to do it.'”

Inevitably, DeSantis was also asked for his thoughts on the primary.

“There’s no question that South Carolina is going to be a big victory for Donald Trump because he appeals to core Republicans in a way that Nikki Haley just does not or is not trying to,” he said.

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