House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has publicly criticised Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, stating that DeSantis is “not at the same level as President Trump in any shape or form.” This statement has sparked conversation and controversy within the Republican party and the broader political landscape.
“I served with Ron DeSantis [in Congress]. He’s not at the same level as President Trump by any shape or form. He would not have gotten elected [governor] without President Trump’s endorsement,” McCarthy stated during an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox News, suggesting that DeSantis owes his political success to the former president’s backing.
DeSantis, however, defended his record and pointed out the differences between his leadership style and that of the former president and current House Speaker. “Donald Trump was instrumental in him earning that Speaker’s gavel and they worked hand-in-glove, really throughout his whole presidency. They ended up together adding about $7.8 trillion to our national debt.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “President Trump is stronger today than he was in 2016 or 2020… I served with Ron DeSantis, he’s not at the same level.. by any shape or form.” pic.twitter.com/oRi6LOzgv4
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) September 17, 2023
“He said that we are different. We are different because in Florida, we’ve run budget surpluses. We’ve paid down almost 25% of our state’s debt just since I’ve been governor,” DeSantis retorted.
McCarthy, predicting the outcome of the Republican primary, confidently stated, “I think [Trump] will be the nominee. The thing is, President Trump is stronger today than he was in 2016 or 2020, and there’s a reason why. They saw the policies of what he was able to do with America — putting America first, making our economy stronger.”
These statements come amid a highly charged political climate, with tensions running high within the Republican party. The public criticism of DeSantis by McCarthy, a prominent figure within the party, may have significant implications for DeSantis’ presidential campaign and the party’s unity.
This story will continue to develop as the 2024 presidential race heats up, and it remains to be seen how this public discord will impact the Republican primary and the party’s chances in the upcoming election.