Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis fired back at Speaker Kevin McCarthy after the Republican lawmaker said he is not at the "same level" as former President Donald Trump and that Trump would be the GOP nominee.
"I think if you look at what’s happened with D.C. Republicans, they worked very closely. Look, Donald Trump, he supported Kevin McCarthy very strongly for speaker. I don’t think he would have won the speaker vote. Donald Trump was instrumental in him earning that speaker’s gavel," DeSantis told a reporter on Monday.
He added that Trump and McCarthy were on the "same team" on "every major spending bill" that added $7.8 trillion to the national debt.
"Never in a four-year period has that much been added than what they did together. And so he (McCarthy) said we’re different. We are different, because in Florida, we run budget surpluses, We’ve paid down nearly 25% of our state’s debt just since I’ve been governor," said DeSantis.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. (Getty Images)
"I am not somebody who the D.C. establishment wants to see up there," he continued. "There’s no question about that because they know that a lot of things will be changing if I’m there."
"It’s understandable that the DC Establishment doesn’t want me to be president — and I wear that as a badge of honor," DeSantis posted on social media with a clip of his remarks.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during the annual Feenstra Family Picnic at the Dean Family Classic Car Museum in Sioux Center, Iowa, on May 13, 2023. (Rebecca S. Gratz for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
DeSantis' comments follow Sunday remarks from McCarthy on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" with host Maria Bartiromo, where the Republican leader said that Trump will be the GOP nominee and said DeSantis is "not at the same level" as Trump.
"President Trump is beating Biden right now in the polls. He is stronger than he has ever been in this process, and, look, I served with Ron DeSantis — he's not at the same level as President Trump by any shape or form," McCarthy said. "He would not have gotten elected without President Trump's endorsement."
Former President Donald Trump takes the stage during an organizing event at Fervent Calvary Chapel n Las Vegas on July 8, 2023. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
The Trump campaign and McCarthy's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Andrew Mark Miller is a reporter at Fox News. Find him on Twitter @andymarkmiller and email tips to AndrewMark.Miller@Fox.com.