Ron DeSantis’ culture wars might be winning in Florida, but he may fall flat if he runs for president. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Ron DeSantis’ culture wars might be winning in Florida, but he may fall flat if he runs for President. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about this. Farron, you know, we both, I think land in the same place here. This is just a remake of the Lee Atwater, Donald Segretti, Ronald Reagan, Bush one culture wars, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I mean this is, this is just like, I mean, what, what he’s doing is to, to convey the same thing that Ronald Reagan conveyed when he launched his president’s run in Philadelphia, Mississippi. They were so backwards and so, so out of it. I mean, just absolute racist center that they didn’t even join the Confederacy. They didn’t think the Confederacy was, was extreme enough for ’em.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And, you know, for, for a big Hollywood guy like Reagan to come in and pick this small Mississippi town to do it, it was very calculated.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: And DeSantis I think is, you know, he, he’s not a stupid guy by any stretch.

Mike Papantonio: No, he is not. Don’t, don’t ever believe he is.

Farron Cousins: He’s dangerously smart.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: And he’s kind of taken that same thing and brought it to modern times. And recently, of course, with the blocking of the AP African-American Studies course, he’s kind of put it on steroids to the point where one, he’s likely to end up sued. You’ve got, you know, legendary civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump working on this.

Mike Papantonio: And he’ll, he’ll win this suit.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, there’s already precedent to win this lawsuit.

Farron Cousins: There is. And so he faces that trouble. The problem is, even if they win that lawsuit, the public’s not gonna pay attention to that.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: It will be that DeSantis did it, that he got his initial victory. And the people in this state, and I cannot stress this enough, the people in Florida love him.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they absolutely do. As a matter of fact, people are moving to Florida.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I saw a number where it was like, just like a fraction of a percentage of people moving to Florida are, are registering Democrat.

Farron Cousins: We, we’ve had I think like almost a million Republicans move to Florida in the last four years, is what I’ve seen.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they’re coming outta the big cities. They’re confronted with dysfunction in the big cities, as in, in their mind. And, and obviously it is, there’s some reason they’re coming here. They like the idea of, of DeSantis’ culture war. Whether it’s, you know, you may, people may look at is and say, that idiot, you know, what a stupid thing to do. What does he know? He knows it worked for Ronald Reagan.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: He knows it worked for George Bush one. You remember the welfare queen thing?

Farron Cousins: Yep.

Mike Papantonio: That was part of, that was part an extension of Lee Atwater’s and Donald Segretti’s idea to turn the country up on its head in culture wars. And that division is happening right now in this country stronger than probably it’s ever been. But I mean, there, the, the obvious is there’s absolutely zero, zero justification for saying that an AP course on African his, African-American history can’t be taught. It, there’s, you can go around it a thousand ways and, and say why? You know, is, is next it’s gonna be women’s studies. We can’t, we can’t have a course on women’s studies. We can’t have a, a course on native American studies. I mean, this is where this goes if you really land it. Look, Crump is a, Crump is a very good friend of mine. Okay. He’s a good lawyer. He understands his chances of winning this are very, very high. So I think that’s where it’s gonna land. But people to, for people to say, oh, he’s an idiot. They’re the idiot if they don’t understand what this guy’s up to. It is one thing to call names and say, what an idiot. But if you, if you don’t analyze what’s really happening, you might be the idiot.

Farron Cousins: Well see and that’s, I think a big problem, not just here in Florida, but just all over the country with politics in general, is you’ve got, you got your folks up in New York that do their cable news show. You got the folks in DC on the insider beltway. They look at this guy and they say, wow, he’s an idiot. Florida, y’all are idiots.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: But you come down here actually travel through these red states.

Mike Papantonio: Yes.

Farron Cousins: I travel through them all the time. I was just in Tennessee.

Mike Papantonio: Yes.

Farron Cousins: They love this.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly.

Farron Cousins: And that is what, you know, the, the people in these mindsets of I’m the professional politico.

Mike Papantonio: I know. We, we.

Farron Cousins: Y’all don’t understand it because you’re not seeing it every day like we do.

Mike Papantonio: No. We, we get it on a comment page. People say, you know, they’ll look at this, well, he’s a loser. He’s an idiot because they don’t take the time, they don’t know the history. I, most people don’t know the history of Lee Atwater.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: They don’t know the history of Donald Segretti and Richard Nixon and how he put these folks together to do these cultural dirty tricks. And then Ronald Reagan wins for President. George Bush one wins for president, solely based on the type of culture war that he’s trying to promote here.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.