While holding a press conference to hand out bonuses to first responders in Jacksonville, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) was asked about House Republican leadership, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and his comments stating that the Florida Governor isn’t “at the same level as President Trump.”
The Floridian publisher Javier Manjarrés questioned, “What is your take on the fact that Speaker McCarthy doesn’t think that you’re fit to lead?”
Gov. DeSantis proceeded to lay out his rebuttal, citing his résumé while simultaneously contrasting his efforts with the Speaker’s.
— The Floridian (@Floridianpress) September 18, 2023
“I think that if you look at what’s happened with D.C. Republicans, they worked very closely with Donald Trump. He supported Kevin McCarthy very strongly for the Speaker[ship],” said Gov. DeSantis. I don’t think he would have won the Speaker vote, Donald Trump was instrumental in him earning that Speaker’s gavel.”
He would also mention that when President Trump was in office, both the former President and Speaker McCarthy were responsible for increasing the national debt by trillions.
“They were on the same team on every major spending bill when it came down to it. 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 (McCarthy) said that we’re different. We are different, because in Florida, we run budget surpluses. We 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. So, it’s a much different approach to where we’re doing it right,” stated DeSantis.
This is not the first time we have heard negative reviews for Republican leadership from DeSantis.
During an exclusive interview with Manjarrés in October 2017, then-Congressman DeSantis first expressed his lack of faith in House Republican Leadership over its refusal to investigate the Clinton Foundation and former House staffer Imran Awan.
Awan, the House IT aide who was associated with an individual with ties to the terror group Hezbollah and arrested on a federal bank fraud charge, was never called to testify before the House Oversight Committee DeSantis sat on or any other congressional committee under then-Speaker Paul Ryan and then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“Part of the frustration that I have had, the House and Republican rule has not been as effective as it needs to be in doing oversight,” said Rep. DeSantis.
DeSantis accused Ryan and McCarthy of barring him and other Republicans from investigating the Clintons and Awan.
"I mean, you remember the Clinton Foundation? When that scandal broke, we were barred from the leadership from doing one hearing, one subpoena, and nothing in the congress about the Clinton Foundation. You had all this money going into the foundation from foreign governments, you had money going to Bill Clinton from foreign governments, you had Hillary taking action as Secretary of State," said DeSantis.
When asked if the biggest hurdle he faced was trying to overcome House Leadership, DeSantis responded that the Awan case could have been one of the biggest scandals in history.
“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,” added DeSantis.
It is evident that DeSantis – either a governor or representative – has not approved of McCarthy’s leadership.