Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fired back at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Monday after McCarthy took a shot at him over the weekend for backing members of Congress that are threatening to shut down the government if conservative agenda items are not met.
Politico reported last week that DeSantis — who is one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus — told several Republican members that he had their backs in their push for change to happen.
McCarthy took a shot at DeSantis during a Sunday interview with Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” saying that “he’s not at the same level as President Trump by any shape or form.”
“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,” said McCarthy. “He would not have gotten elected without President Trump’s endorsement,” he aded, echoing former President Donald Trump’s claims about the Florida governor, who has generally been seen as Trump’s top challenger for the 2024 nomination.
As for the threat of a shutdown, McCarthy said, “I don’t think that would work anywhere. A shutdown would only give strength to the Democrats. It would give the power to Biden. It wouldn’t pay our troops. It wouldn’t pay our border agents.”
A reporter asked DeSantis during a press conference on Monday what his take was on McCarthy effectively saying that he does not believe that DeSantis is fit to lead. DeSantis responded by laughing.
“Donald Trump, he supported Kevin McCarthy very strongly for Speaker,” DeSantis said. “I don’t think he would’ve won the speaker vote. Donald Trump was instrumental in him earning that Speaker’s gavel,” he added, referencing McCarthy’s grueling battle to become Speaker, which took 15 rounds of voting.
“And they worked hand in glove really throughout his whole presidency,” DeSantis continued. “They were on the same team on every major spending bill that came down the, the pike. And they ended up together adding $7.8 trillion to our national debt. Never in a four-year period has that much been added than what they did together. And so he said that we’re different. We are different because in Florida we run budget surpluses. We’ve paid down almost 25% of our state’s debt. Just since I’ve been governor, all the debt all the way up for all of Florida’s history, we’ve knocked off almost 25% of it.”
“We have the number one rated economy in the country. We’ve cut taxes, we’ve expanded school choice, and we’ve delivered in a way that has made the state sustainable. I am not somebody who the D.C. establishment wants to see up there. There’s no question about that, because they know that a lot of things will be changing if I’m there.”
“I would just also point out that we in Florida have a right to expect that they get some stuff done for us like they said they would when they campaigned because Florida was instrumental in them even having the majority to begin with,” DeSantis continued, referencing the “red wave” in Florida in 2022. “[T]he only reason they even got the majority is because the governor candidate in New York overperformed, and because we delivered a red tsunami in Florida that gave them an extra four seats,” he added, referencing his push to redraw the congressional map in the state.
“But I’m not somebody who’s ever gonna be the favorite of the D.C. establishment,” he concluded. “And you know what? I wear that as a badge of honor.”
DeSantis posted the clip on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding: “Kevin McCarthy says I’m a little different from Donald Trump. I agree.”
“In Florida, we run budget surpluses. We’ve paid down our debt. I’ve kept every one of my promises,” he added. “Meanwhile, McCarthy and Trump worked together to add $7 trillion — more debt than our country racked up in its first 200 years — to the debt in just four years. It’s understandable that the DC Establishment doesn’t want me to be president — and I wear that as a badge of honor.”
Kevin McCarthy says I’m a little different from Donald Trump. I agree.
In Florida, we run budget surpluses. We’ve paid down our debt. I’ve kept every one of my promises.
Meanwhile, McCarthy and Trump worked together to add $7 trillion — more debt than our country racked up in… pic.twitter.com/TqZih4t8U8
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) September 18, 2023