TAMPA, Fla. — Moments after landing in Tampa, Fla. for a private fundraiser, President Trump spoke exclusively with Spectrum News' Holly Gregory.
What You Need To Know
- President Trump says he wants to extend federal unemployment benefits
- Claims Florida has reached the top of the coronavirus curve
- Promises no oil drilling off the Florida coast
- Expects to win Florida in November
Holly Gregory: Mr. President, can we start off talking about this federal unemployment benefit extension? Our economy, tourism-based, has just been decimated by the virus, and that’s a lifeline for so many folks. Is it going to get extended?
President Trump: Well, I think so. The Democrats have to do it. We’ve been very generous – overly – and I want to take care of the people. Not only in Florida but the whole country. And you know we had record job numbers last month and the month after that, so we’re headed in the right direction. And the democrats view this as a political thing. They view it for November 3. And we don’t do it that way. We’re doing the right thing. So, we want to get the money out. It’s a lot of money, and we want to get it done.
Holly Gregory: We are on our fourth day of record deaths here in this state. We have just been hit so hard. People are hurting. They want to go about their lives. Kids want to get back into school. What is it going to take? What should Floridians be doing to get a handle on this?
President Trump: Well, the good news is I spoke to your governor. It’s heading down. It’s going to be heading down. And countries all over the world now, they’re getting that second spike – countries that we thought really did a good job. They did do a good job, but this is a very delicate subject. It’s a subject that it’s so contagious, so really terrible. Here’s the good news. Very few people suffer the grave ills as others. We have to protect our elderly, our senior citizens, especially if they have like a heart problem or diabetes problem. But, you’re on their way down. The curve is topped, and it looks like Florida is on the way down. Arizona steeply down. Texas is down. So, it’s all coming back, and it’ll come back soon. And we’re behind you 1000%. We’re also behind tonight, whether it’s a hurricane or a storm. We’ve already approved what has to be approved to take care of Florida.
Holly Gregory: I was going to say – if we enter into pandemic meets storm season, what are we looking at here in terms of if a bunch of folks have to be in the same place at the same time in a shelter? What’s the federal response?
President Trump: Well, you’re gonna be in good shape. I think you’re gonna be in really great shape. And they have – the governor’s done some great areas – great storm areas. And I think this won’t be the kind of storm that you’ve seen over the last couple of years, where we worked very well together. But it’s uh – it’s an incredible state, and we’re taking care of it.
Holly Gregory: And you know how important our coast is and tourism. Would you be willing to commit to no drilling in the eastern Gulf? You know the situation with that.
President Trump: Well, we’re not gonna be drilling, and I’ve already put out that order – actually quite a while ago. But we can’t do that. And the people of Florida just don’t want it. You know, there are some states that don’t mind it, but Florida does. And I live here too, and I vote here. And I will tell you that’s not going to be happening.
Holly Gregory: And finally, you gotta take this state for reelection. It’s crucial, and it was just always so tight. What’s the game plan? How are you going to win reelection through Florida?
President Trump: Well, I think the real deal is just like I said to the police. I just got the endorsement of every police group in the state – I think every police group in the nation – which tells you what’s going on. You know, normally there would be like a 50/50 split or something. I have almost a hundred percent endorsement from police. That’s law and order. We’re doing great economically. We set so many different records already for the new. We created the greatest economy in the history of the world – far better than China. China was going down. We were going up. And then we got hit with the China plague or the China virus, and now we’re on the way back. And we’re gonna build it up. I think next year is gonna be actually better than the previous year, and I think the previous year was actually the best year we ever had. Until we got hit, Florida had the best year they’ve ever had. So, we’re going to be back soon, Holly. I think we’re going to be back very, very soon.