Since Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) became a presidential candidate (and perhaps even before), there have been rumblings of former Republican establishment figures joining his camp.
These rumors include names such as former Speaker of the House and Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R), as well as former White House Deputy Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush, Karl Rove.
It can be inferred that the rumors have been circulating in an effort to pin the Florida Governor as the “establishment” candidate, compared to the outsider in former President Donald Trump (R).
Before President Trump won the election in 2016, he had never held any political office. He was the ultimate outsider. And since then, the one Presidential term is the only public office he has held. On the contrary, Gov. DeSantis was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives three times, he ran for the U.S. Senate, before running for governor in 2018.
However, he was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and has been in favor of term limits since the early days of his political career.
.@GovRonDeSantis 2012 interview w/ @JavManjarres is very telling of who he is.
Campaign promises were kept.https://t.co/Z6HxfTl9aC
"I would support a pay cut for members of Congress simply because we've seen the debt go up so much in the past few years. Why shouldn't members… pic.twitter.com/bG5xNHq92Y
— The Floridian (@Floridianpress) May 24, 2023
Gov. DeSantis attempted to set the record straight on The Balance with Eric Bolling.
This Ron DeSantis counterpunch to the label "establishment Republican" is pure gold:
"How many establishment Republicans would have sent illegal aliens to Martha's Vineyard? How many establishment Republicans would have stood up against Disney? How many establishment Republicans… pic.twitter.com/pzFBK6fJN7
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) May 26, 2023
“But I can tell you this here: I have not spoken to Paul Ryan since I’ve been Governor. I’ve met Karl Rove once in my life, they are not involved in my political operation. So, that’s just manufactured garbage that people put out there online,” stated DeSantis.
“America’s Governor” would go on to share his record as in Florida, asking Bolling and viewers alike if establishment Republicans would’ve done what he did in Tallahassee.
“You also look at my record, how many establishment Republicans would have sent illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard? How many establishment Republicans would have stood up against Disney? How many establishment Republicans would have signed the bill that I just signed to ban land purchases from people affiliated with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), in the state of Florida? We’re now being sued by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) for that,” said DeSantis.
He would go on even further, citing his record.
“How many establishment Republicans would have leaned in to support our children against the pronoun Olympics? We banned the pronoun Olympics, and our schools were the first state to do that. How many establishment Republicans would have banned gender transition surgeries for minors? We not only would take the doctor’s medical license, we’ll put the doctor in jail if they are mutilating minors. So, on every issue, that kind of old guard of the Republican Party would have shied away from it in a New York minute. I’m not only leaning into them, I’m winning against the media and against the left.
DeSantis concluded with his pledge to voters, saying that he would leave “woke ideology in the dustbin of history.”
“We say Florida’s the place where woke goes to die because we’ve defeated the left on all these fronts. And my pledge if I’m elected President after two terms, we will leave woke ideology in the dustbin of history.”
Is it fair to call DeSantis an “establishment” candidate in the same breath as a Mitt Romney or a Paul Ryan? Probably not. Is it fair to say that he is “more establishment” than Trump just based on the amount of time they’ve spent in the public political sphere? Absolutely.
But policy-wise, both of them are anything but.