Ross: Republicans take on drug trafficking in third debate

Nov 9, 2023, 9:30 AM | Updated: 10:42 am

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Republican presidential candidates (L-R), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence walk on stage during the FOX Business Republican Primary Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 27, 2023 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Last night’s Republican debate – which, again, served no practical purpose since the winner seems to have already crossed the finish line – made me do some soul-searching.

Because I found myself involuntarily drawn to the candidates’ hard line on the drug problem, everybody agreed we need more mental health treatment. But do you just rely on a good defense? Or do you go on the offense?

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Here’s former Governor Chris Christie.

“On day one, I would sign an executive order that would send the National Guard to partner with Customs and Border Patrol both at ports of entry and at the Open Ports of our border,” Christie said.

Here’s Vivek Ramaswamy.

“If you put that fentanyl in a Big Mac, we would not call that an overdose. You’d call it what it is. It’s closer to bioterrorism. We’ll use our own military to seal our own southern border,” Ramaswamy said.

“And then the other thing that hasn’t been discussed is the northern border. There was enough fentanyl that was captured just on the northern border last year to kill 3 million Americans,” Ramaswamy continued. “So we got to just skate to where the puck is going. Don’t just build the wall build both walls,”

And I found myself perking up at this. And I think it was because of the clip I played from the King County prosecutor’s office – the one we ran on Monday – where Prosecuting Attorney Candice Duclos revealed that one of the people arrested in connection with a drug bust in Burien had been sent here by the Sinaloa drug cartel.

“We see significant drug operations all of the time; most of them are directly connected to the cartel out of Sinaloa, Mexico,” Duclos said. “This case was unique in that detectives were conducting surveillance and happened to get lucky and see our target receiving a large quantity of drugs from another person.”

They got lucky, meaning too many dealers still get away with it.

Now – would I go as far as Nikki Haley?

“We will send special operations in to take out the cartels. We need to go to where they’re distributing it, where the supply centers are, and take them out. We’ll put 25,000 more Border Patrol and ICE agents on the ground and let them do their job,” Haley said.

Would I go as far as Ron DeSantis?

“We are going to designate the cartels to be foreign terrorist organizations or something similar that we’re going to have maritime operations to interdict precursor chemicals going into Mexico,” DeSantis said. “But I’ll tell you this: if someone in the drug cartels is sneaking fentanyl across the border, when I’m President, that’s going to be the last thing they do. We’re going to shoot them stone-cold dead.”

That sounds slightly illegal. But I would observe that there are countries that’ll lock up an American for a handful of pot in their luggage.

And if the word got around that in America we’re done tolerating foreign poison pushers, I wouldn’t mind one bit.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Republicans take on drug trafficking in third debate