Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed Speaker Kevin McCarthy Monday after the California Republican dissed DeSantis over the weekend, saying the Florida governor is “not at the same level” as his current GOP presidential rival Donald Trump.
“Kevin McCarthy says I’m a little different from Donald Trump. I agree,” DeSantis said in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “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 its first 200 years — to the debt in just four years,” DeSantis wrote.
During a press conference Monday, DeSantis also knocked McCarthy over his struggle to win the gavel earlier this year.
“Donald Trump supported Kevin McCarthy very strongly for speaker. I don't think he would have won the speaker vote,” DeSantis said, calling Trump’s support “instrumental” in McCarthy’s slim victory.
McCarthy currently faces mounting challenges in the House amid the launch of a controversial impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and a looming deadline to reach an agreement on a spending bill — or face a government shutdown.
Those obstacles are exacerbated by some of the concessions McCarthy made to conservative hardliners in his caucus in order to win their support during the speaker’s race — particularly his commitment to lower the threshold needed to call a vote to remove him from the position.
McCarthy on Sunday told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that Trump will likely win the 2024 GOP presidential nomination while also saying that Trump’s endorsement of DeSantis in the 2018 election cycle helped the governor win his election.
McCarthy’s jab at DeSantis comes as the GOP presidential hopeful, and former founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, stepped into in the spending fight.
Last week, the Florida governor spent about 30 minutes on the phone with conservative Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Bob Good of Virginia, urging the group to continue stonewalling any spending propositions that don’t include hard-right policy demands.