In a clash between Republican leaders, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responded sharply to recent comments made by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Over the weekend, McCarthy critiqued DeSantis during an interview, implying that the Florida Governor is “not at the same level” as former President Trump. DeSantis did not let the remarks slide and quickly utilized them to bolster his anti-establishment stance, contrasting himself against those he perceives as excessive spenders in Washington, DC.
Highlighting Florida’s achievements under his leadership, DeSantis fired back at McCarthy during an interview on Fox Business:
“Since Kevin’s been in Congress, they’ve added trillions and trillions of dollars to the debt, even when we had unified Republican government. Since I’ve been governor of Florida, we’ve actually paid down almost 25 percent of our total state debt. We’ve won budget surpluses every year. And we have the top-rated economy in the entire United States.”
“We were supposed to have a red wave in 2022. That crashed and burned around the country. Florida, we did. We delivered them four additional Republican congressmen; that was instrumental in getting them the bare majority that they have.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) hits back at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for saying “he’s not at the same level” as Trump:
“We were supposed to have a red wave in 2022. That crashed and burned around the country. Florida, we did. We delivered them 4 additional Republican congressmen.” pic.twitter.com/FiuiaJGe7K
— The Recount (@therecount) September 19, 2023
On Sunday, McCarthy had spoke on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”, predicted Trump’s victory in the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. He also acknowledged Trump’s role in DeSantis’s 2018 gubernatorial win, attributing the latter’s success to the former President’s endorsement. McCarthy said:
“President Trump is beating Biden right now in the polls. He is stronger than he has ever been in this process, and, look, I served with Ron DeSantis — he’s not at the same level as President Trump by any shape or form. He would not have gotten elected without President Trump’s endorsement.”
The ongoing feud between the two Republican politicians comes amid a possible government shutdown which McCarthy is desperate to avoid. Is the House Speaker starting to feel the pressure? DeSantis is urging House Republicans to buck McCarthy’s leadership during the negotiations which returns the governor to his roots as a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus.