Let's imagine Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) won the 2024 Election. In a recent attack by his soon-to-be opponent in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, former President Donald Trump compares him to Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), claiming he is a "disciple" of Rep. Ryan and insinuating that a President DeSantis would be an "establishment" Republican president opposed to the Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement.
But is this the case?
During his time in the House, then-Rep. DeSantis quit the House Republican whip team because he felt former Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) had politicized the procedural vote process. Rep. DeSantis was also critical of former Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and wanted "to continue to be able to challenge leadership whenever necessary."
Moreover, he was unwilling to "hand over his voting card to leadership" because DeSantis felt he had "responsibility to his constituents first, and not leadership."
Two years later, in October 2017, Congressman DeSantis criticized the Republican leadership for their unwillingness to investigate the Clinton Foundation and former House staffer Imran Awan, who was associated with a supporter of Hezbollah, saying, "the House and Republican rule has not been as effective as it needs to be in doing oversight."
Rep. Ryan and Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) were Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader, respectively, when the scandals broke out and did not investigate "as zealously as it needs to be," as DeSantis put it.
"I think that there is concern that there is not going to be investigated as zealously as it needs to be, this has the potential to be the biggest scandal in Congress since the House banking scandal in the early ‘90s, but in order to get the facts, you really got to go at it that hasn’t been done so far, I can’t answer that," DeSantis said.
Does this sound like a "disciple" of Paul Ryan?
While DeSantis has not officially announced his campaign for President yet, time will tell if Trump's comparison of him to Ryan will pay off.