2024 GOP Presidential Candidate Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined The Brian Kilmeade Show to discuss running for president, China and Cuba working together, why he likes Trump more than DeSantis and how Lionel Messi signing with Inter-Miami will generate 2 billion for Miami.

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Rough transcript

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:00] Last week by the Miami mayor, Francis Suarez. Very successful over there in that very successful state of Florida, says, hey, I want to get the Republican nomination to be the next president, United States. And he’s in studio now. Mr. Mayor, great to see you.

Francis Suarez [00:00:12] It’s great to be with.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:12] You, Brian. So you would think after Beckham get you get a stadium for back home that he get messy to play for Inter Miami. That will be enough for you. But it’s.

Francis Suarez [00:00:20] Not. It’s the next logical move.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:21] Right, to be president.

Francis Suarez [00:00:22] After listen after doing what is the best stadium do in America we just saw in Buffalo they give the bills, I think a billion and a half dollars. I think in Tennessee, the Titans got like 1,000,000,002. And I think in Nevada, I think the team’s about to get $1,000,000,000 in Miami. We pay $0. We gave the Inter Miami team $0. They’re paying us fair market value for the land that we leased to them. It’s going to generate for this city conservatively $2 billion in revenue. Right. So we do things a little differently in Miami. We actually make money off these teams now.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:56] You know, they were struggling this year. You weren’t they weren’t selling tickets like they should. But now it’s the hottest ticket sports ticket in America.

Francis Suarez [00:01:03] It’s the hottest sports team in America. And it benefits all of America because now every single MLS team is more valuable. The tickets are are certainly higher everywhere, merchandise, all that. And we won a worldwide competition. I think what’s what’s exciting about Miami that can be scaled nationally is we’ve created the most dynamic city in America. And now our job is to create the most dynamic, recreate the most dynamic country in the world.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:29] Silicon Valley’s dipping these days. You’re trying to recruit those firms, but I know you’re heavily into crypto. You get paid in crypto. Do you regret diving so into it? Is the bubble is the bubble bursting?

Francis Suarez [00:01:40] No, not at all. Because, you know, not every single company succeeds, but the technology that it’s based on will succeed. When you think about blockchain, when you think about, you know, fractionalization of ownership and debt and equity, that’s going to create prosperity for people. And I’ve often said I just said it on your show on Fox News, you know, in Biden’s America, the poor get poorer and they get poorer because of runaway inflation based on runaway spending and runaway interest rates. So if you’re poor person and you have your money in a bank account, your purchasing power is going down and now you’ve got to borrow money, which means your your your cost of borrowing is going up. So you’re getting squeezed on both ends. It’s untenable. And we’ve got to create opportunities for people to be successful. And I think crypto and all kinds of technological, whether it’s A.I., quantum, virtual reality, you know, the space wars, all these kinds of technologies are the technologies of the future. We need to position our country to be number one in all of them.

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:39] All right. So the major issue facing this country, but you see to Miami and it is China, this is the this is not a Soviet missile crisis with Khrushchev. You have a crisis now. They’re going to put military hardware. They’re going to start doing some training in Cuba. Here is the secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, When when was confronted by the Wall Street Journal story at 26.

Speaker 3 [00:03:00] I made very clear that we would have deep concerns about PRC intelligence or military activities in Cuba. This is something we’re going to be monitoring very, very closely. And we’ve been very clear about that. And we will protect our homeland.

Brian Kilmeade [00:03:16] We will protect our interests. What does that mean? Monitoring closely.

Francis Suarez [00:03:19] Come on. Deep concerns. I’m sure the Chinese are shaking in their boots based on the Biden administration’s posture in the world. I mean, it’s a posture of retreat. It’s a posture of weakness. We saw the incompetent withdraw from Afghanistan. That is it. I’m convinced that that motivated Vladimir Putin to do what he did in Ukraine now, which costs 100 billion plus of resources. So it’s a disastrous foreign policy. It’s a foreign policy that comes from Obama’s B-team, which is the one that’s really running the Biden administration, a bunch of, you know, academics who have absolutely no concept of what’s going on in the real world. When you think about Cuba as an example, right, on July 11th, a few years ago, they had a spontaneous uprising. What did the Biden administration do? Nothing. Nothing. They said they were gonna do something. They did nothing. And now you’ve converted an ideological threat into an increasingly national security threat. That is something unforgivable. You know, And by the way, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when you consider China pushing fentanyl through our border that’s killing 80 to 90000 Americans is the equivalent the equivalent of of a 747 crashing every single day. When you consider China’s investment in our hemisphere. Right, which is pushing socialism, it used to be, you know, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua. Now it’s Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia. I mean, it’s it is endless.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:44] And all it does is to me, what blows me away is that this this administration embraces Lula of Brazil. The Argentine leader was just over here, Colombia. It’s we’re not.

Francis Suarez [00:04:53] Acknowledging that they were they were going to buy oil from Venezuela. Yeah, right. I mean, this is an administration. Worst VAT policy ever that that they must at some level agree with this sort of socialism. Right. I mean, I was just watching something earlier today where, you know, the former president condemns socialism and half of the Democrats didn’t clap, you know, during the State of the Union. I mean, look, this concept where government is the answer to all problems, we’re very, very fortunate in Miami and we’re very fortunate in this country because many of us came to this country fleeing persecution. My parents did. And and they’re a leader said, give me all your property, give me all your businesses, and don’t worry, we’re going to make everybody equal. And he did. He made everybody equally poor and equally miserable.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:39] And you held on to your Edsel and that was the car you drive around.

Francis Suarez [00:05:43] Yeah, exactly.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:44] But the one thing that is pretty clear is that you guys came over the most successful. If you look at Little Havana, it’s the most successful immigration movement since the Pilgrims.

Francis Suarez [00:05:52] You know why? Because we embraced American entrepreneurship, American free markets. We realized that if you in this country, if you study, if you work hard, if you risk capital, which is fundamentally American, you have a great opportunity to be successful. Part of the reason why Miami so successful is I dare to be different. When you’re. Rejected Amazon after they competed for the Amazon prize and won the Amazon prize and they rejected its 50,000 high paying jobs for New Yorkers. It’s not just about the 50,000 jobs, it’s what is the signal? The signal you’re sending is you want to create high paying jobs here. We don’t want you. California, same problem. You had a tweet. You know, you know what, Elon Musk, I don’t I can’t even say it. My wife gets upset with me if I say what the actual tweet said. It says f Elon Musk. Right. And he replied, Message received and left California for Austin. And why is that important? Again, it’s not just because you’re taking out the richest person in the country. It’s because what you’re seeing the signal is if you start a company in your garage, you risk everything. You spend your life savings. You know, you spend all this time away from your family to build a company and you’re successful. You’re going to be a pariah in your community. That is not fundamentally American. I answered the question of what if we moved Silicon Valley to Miami with How can I help? How can I roll out the red carpet? Lower taxes to the lowest level. Keep people safe, the lowest homicide rate since 1964. On a per capita basis. This year, we’re 40% below that. And then I said, you know what? We got to create the economy of the future. So we’re number one in tech, job growth, number one in wage growth. And we have the lowest unemployment in America.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:24] Are you a lawyer? Yes. You’re a lawyer on top of that. Yeah. So when did you decide I want to try politics?

Francis Suarez [00:07:31] You know, I sort of backed into it. My dad, as you know, was the first Cuban mayor of Miami from 1985 to 1993. My dad, you know, is is one of my heroes. And I didn’t really want to get into politics because it was nasty. And I think, you know, what you see in today’s day and age, part of the reason why, you know, there’s not a lot of talent in politics is people just don’t want to do it. They don’t want to subject themselves to it. They think it’s unfair. The criticism and I understand them. And particularly if you’re a Republican, right, it seems like you’re getting beat up every single day, particularly by your hometown papers. And and, you know, and so I sort of backed into it. I was I had just been married. I had a small business, and I said, you know what? I don’t want to live in regret. And so I ran for office. I got elected by 260 votes. I was the only candidate not supported by the labor unions that won that year. And I always say if 131 people would have changed your mind, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:24] Now, you were leading the mayors group of mayors. We had president of the Mayors Association.

Francis Suarez [00:08:28] I was I was I then I became mayor in 2017. I got elected by 85%. And I just finished my term of a year and a half of being president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, all the mayors in the country.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:38] What did you learn from talking to other mayors about their different challenges?

Francis Suarez [00:08:42] I got to see a lot of America and I think a lot of the challenges in urban cities, which I think is an opportunity for Republicans based on our model of success.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:50] Because the Democratic model is blowing up in our face. San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York.

Francis Suarez [00:08:55] Major big box stores that are closing, which impacts people. Lawlessness all over the place. Homelessness that’s rampant. Crime that’s rampant. We reduce homelessness by 90% in the city of Miami. We have 608 homeless. We’re the only ones that have dared to say we want to get to zero homeless in our city. We eradicated homelessness for veterans. And, you know, it’s it’s these are goals that you have to establish and you’ve got to create models that you can you can implement in other cities. And I do think it’s a great opportunity. Look, I think my candidacy for president presents three major opportunities, more Hispanics, right. Which are needed, more people from cities and young voters. Can you believe that? We lost voters under 30 by 26 points to Joe Biden?

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:33] That’s crazy, right? To Joe Biden, who’s 100 Joe Biden 12 years. So a lot of people say, okay, yeah, your future is bright. Yeah, you made a huge impact, man. He’s comfortable in front of the camera. I love his biography. Why not take an interim step? Why go from mayor to president? You know, desantis’s term limited out anyway, whether he’s president or not. So.

Francis Suarez [00:09:53] Look, it’s a legitimate question. I think. I think you have to analyze the opportunities as they come. And what I see now is a field of candidates who often divide, define themselves by what they’re against instead of what they’re for. For me, I want to present voters with a fresh and different perspective. I want to talk to them about my vision for the future, which is a positive, unifying vision. I want to talk to them about how I’m going to create prosperity for themselves and their children. I want to talk to them about how I’m going to deal with generational challenges that other people have ignored, like the deficit, immigration and and the rise.

Brian Kilmeade [00:10:26] What would you say? It’s like going from single-A baseball to the majors. And once in a while you have a Dwight Gooden that can do it and it’s going against you. Yeah, I think.

Francis Suarez [00:10:34] That’s a fair comparison. I mean, look, it’s been funny. I’ve been in this race for five days and I’m starting to get used to 100 mile per hour fastballs. Right. And then, of course, once you get used to the hundred mile per hour fastballs and they start throwing sliders and change up all this other stuff, you know. So, look, I agree. I think it’s a it’s a tall lift because it’s never been done before. But we just had a president who had never even been in politics right then before that, we had a president who didn’t have much private sector experience, had been in the Senate for a couple of years. Right. What you don’t want is a president that’s been in Washington for 40 years, like a current president who’s never had any private sector experience. That is the kind of experience you don’t want. You want a president who is someone who has run a government on the one. But also has private sector experience, which I’m really proud of.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:15] So you have in the beginning you’re like, Yeah, I’m buying this Trump thing. And now the more you’ve had a chance to get to know him, you, you kind of you like Trump more than you do. DeSantis Yeah.

Francis Suarez [00:11:24] I think that’s fair. I mean, he has a much better personality. I’ve talked to him a couple of times, and he’s he’s an engaging, charismatic guy, which I think I am, too, you know? And I think we we sort of connect on that level. I read his book The Art of the Deal, and I realized that, you know, I started in real estate as a real estate attorney. He’s a real estate developer. So there’s there’s a commonality there. We both have tough dads. My dad, you know, as to graduate degrees from Harvard. My dad’s written nine books and speaks five languages. So and he’s and he’s a tough guy, but a loving guy. And so and one that we admire. So I think we have some things in common that I didn’t know we had before. I think the one thing for me is, you know, I grew up a product of of the Reagan eighties. Right. And I did my announcement speech in the Ronald Reagan Library. And I just remember a time when the president was someone that I could aspire to be that I could look up to. And I think I have a nine year old son and I want the president to be someone that fits that mold.

Brian Kilmeade [00:12:22] And he’s not, you know, like Trump is.

Francis Suarez [00:12:24] I think I fit that mold. Let me just be clear. I fit that. And I think that’s why I’m running. I want to be different. Right. And I want children in America to have someone to look up to and hopefully set a good example.

Brian Kilmeade [00:12:36] And Mr. Mayor, last question, because you got to run. Viewers in New York City. Thanks for dropping by, Craig. But if you get close to closing the gap, the former president is going to come after you. You ready?

Francis Suarez [00:12:46] Listen, that’s part of the business. Like I said, you got to get used to the, you know, the heightened high heat, get brushed off. Look, I’m ready to have a positive, inspiring conversation with this country. I want to change the conversation in this country. How much time do we spend, Brian, talking about divisive and, you know, issues? How much time do we talk about distractions, things that are not going to benefit the people of this country? I want to have a better conversation. That’s why I’m running for.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:11] And we have a common enemy, economic and military, and it is China. And I think both sides will get together.

Francis Suarez [00:13:15] And Biden is going to get a good change. America. It’s not one that’s going to benefit our people.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:19] All right, Mr. Mayor, thanks so much. Great to see you. Best of luck and I hope to catch you catch up with you on the.

Francis Suarez [00:13:24] Trail next time I bring Messi and David.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:25] If you don’t mind. Of course. Yeah, that’ll be good. Oh, what are the two of you to do?

Francis Suarez [00:13:29] Both. Okay.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:29] Back in a moment.