Conservative Think Tank Heritage Foundation Behind Most of DeSantis’ Policies

Meatball Ron was grown in a think tank laboratory?

Wow, thanks friend. I didn’t know that.


In mid-March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis described the Ukraine war as a “territorial dispute” that was not of vital strategic interest to the United States, in a written reply to a questionnaire from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

His comment dismayed allies and drew fierce rebukes from many Republicans who favor a more active role for the U.S. in Ukraine, including some who are challenging him for the 2024 presidential nomination.

Playing a quiet but important role in shaping the governor’s remarks was the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, America’s top conservative think tank, according to two people with knowledge of their interactions.


I never would have expected it.

Thanks, friend.

Senior Heritage officials had advocated for months in conversations with DeSantis’ team that he oppose policies that could move the U.S. toward direct confrontation with Russia, the people said.

While officials at Heritage have been in contact with almost every 2024 Republican presidential campaign, including that of former President Donald Trump, the think tank’s proximity to DeSantis is unique, eight people involved in the discussions said.

Heritage personnel have held near-daily conversations with DeSantis officials in recent months about key issues, including downsizing federal agencies, reorienting U.S. foreign policy to better prepare for confrontation with China, and lowering hurdles to domestic energy production, the eight people said.

Although the news agency was unable to pinpoint every policy DeSantis has adopted due to his campaign’s relationship with Heritage, many of his preferences mirror the think tank’s deep skepticism of the federal government, corporate elites and foreign entanglements.

Several days after DeSantis’ March comments on Ukraine, his top aides met privately with Heritage President Kevin Roberts and other officials of the think tank at an office building near the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida.

During that meeting, Generra Peck, who would later serve as DeSantis’ first campaign manager, thanked the Heritage officials for helping lay the groundwork for the governor’s position on the conflict, according to one person with direct knowledge of that conversation.

Oh, really?


Publicly, Heritage is taking pains not to take sides, in a bid to position itself as the pre-eminent conservative think tank no matter who wins the Republican nomination.

During Trump’s presidency, Heritage developed a close working relationship with him. With the former president holding a formidable 34-point lead in polls, the think tank could again find itself working with a Trump administration should he win the 2024 election.

“We are happy to provide policy recommendations to any lawmaker or candidate who asks,” said Noah Weinrich, a Heritage spokesperson, in response to detailed questions about this story.

“Noah Weinrich,” huh?


Weinrich said Heritage has ‘hosted’ all major Republican candidates, but he did not comment on the contents of any policy discussions held between the think tank and any of the presidential contenders.

Either Roberts himself or other top Heritage officials have traveled to DeSantis’ home base in Tallahassee about once a month this year, people with knowledge of the trips said. Roberts has also traveled to Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort owned by Trump, but the last visit was more than six months ago, those people added.

DeSantis’ policy chief, Dustin Carmack, who was a Heritage research fellow before joining the campaign, talks with officials at the think tank almost daily, according to two of the people, an unusual level of contact for a policy chief at this early stage of a campaign.

Heritage officials have held in-depth discussions with DeSantis’ team about restructuring the Justice Department, abolishing the Department of Education, firing thousands of mid-level bureaucrats and disentangling the U.S. from Ukraine, according to those people.

In addition to Carmack, the policy director, at least seven other Heritage staffers have taken positions in the DeSantis campaign.

DeSantis’ campaign

DeSantis’ decision in March to characterize the Ukraine war as a “territorial dispute” was consistent with the views of about half the Republican Party, surveys show. But some donors and many Republican voters vigorously disagree.

Following the controversial March 13 statement, Heritage officials had a suggestion for the campaign, according to one person with knowledge of the discussions.


He literally flip-flopped 180 and said Putin is a “war criminal” and Russia (1,000+ year old civilization) is a “gas station.”

Perhaps, they said, DeSantis’ message on Ukraine could be delivered with more nuance. He could acknowledge the unjustness of the Russian invasion, while insisting the U.S. needed to limit its involvement and keep its attention on China.

It is unclear if DeSantis took that advice to heart. But the governor’s message subtly shifted. DeSantis told Fox Nation in an interview on March 23 his remarks had been “mischaracterized.”

“Obviously, Russia invaded,” he said, “and that was wrong.”

No it wasn’t, you faggot. It’s wrong that you are fat and suck cock.

DeSantis is not a real person, he’s a mouthpiece of big money donors who run think tanks. It is interesting to see Reuters basically lay that all out for you.