Chip Roy and Leo Terrell Spar Over Roy’s Support for Ron DeSantis as Larger Point Is Made

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Well, the “everything is stupid” phase of the 2024 GOP presidential primary campaign cycle is in full swing where allegations of “RINO!” are being thrown all over the place like Kleenex tissues at a Hillary Clinton runner-up gathering because apparently there are people out there who have forgotten what the word is supposed to mean.


Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) is the latest lucky recipient of the accusation, which came courtesy of civil rights attorney Leo Terrell during a bit of a Twitter sparring match that took place Saturday between the two.

Terrell, as many RedState readers will remember, is a former Democrat who went full Donald Trump in 2020 and never looked back. Terrell is of course supporting the former president this time around as well and has not been shy about expressing his thoughts on the subject of who should be president.

But as most of you also know, Roy is also a pretty vocal Republican and one who periodically reminds people why he endorsed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis two months before DeSantis officially declared his candidacy.

Based on a quick scrolling of both of their Twitter feeds, it appears it started after Roy tweeted out the video of DeSantis speaking during the Iowa GOP Lincoln dinner along with the message “It’s time for Americans to win again. #WinWithDeSantis #DeSanity.”

This annoyed Terrell, who proceeded to suggest that “RINO” Roy be primaried by a “Trump’s Republican” in the next election cycle.

“We need a Trump’s Republican to run against RINO @chiproytx. I will campaign in Texas! #TRUMP2024ToSaveAmerica,” Terrell tweeted in response.

Roy’s response was to retweet people who pointed out that no, Roy was not in fact a RINO and had years of receipts to prove it. And this:


Not long after that, a still-fuming Terrell asked “I want someone to tell me why @chiproytx dislike President Trump? #Trump2024TheOnlyChoice,” continuing to tag Roy so he would see it.

Roy responded by reminding people of what Terrell used to say about Donald Trump before Terrell became a Republican, along with his history of supporting Democrats:

Later, Roy RT’d a post from Terrell on Trump, who was still steaming over Roy’s post-Jan. 6th criticism of him, alleging in 2021 that Roy had not done a good job in Congress, which Trump was claiming during Roy’s bid to become House GOP Conference Committee chair:


As I read their exchange, two things hit me, the first one being I wish Roy had better explained his support for DeSantis. But when I looked at Terrell’s Twitter page, I understood why Roy didn’t. It wouldn’t have done any good. Half of Terrell’s Twitter page is RTs of discredited figures and conspiracy theorists like Laura Loomer and the other half is nothing but him resharing messages Trump has posted to his Truth Social page.

In other words, trying to get through to Terrell, to get him to see the point even if he didn’t agree with it would have been a waste of time. And Roy knew it:

The other thing that hit me was the “RINO” thing. I’ve seen it bandied about before related to support for candidates other than Trump but Terrell is one of the more prominent Trump surrogates to toss it out there.

I mean I’m sure there are some issues here and there that Roy has not always pleased the conservative base on, but he’s about as far from a RINO as you can get, especially on issues like illegal immigration, abortion, gun rights, intrusive government mandates, and the gender identity politics debate.

The word “RINO” doesn’t mean “anyone who doesn’t support Donald Trump,” last I checked, but that appears to be the rationale for why it’s being used in this instance, and it is just beyond foolish.


As I wrote Friday, reasonable people can disagree on issues related to the candidates, including the differences between Trump and DeSantis and all the rest. But if a solid conservative like Roy throwing his support behind DeSantis – who is the very definition of an anti-woke governor – makes him a RINO, then all hope is lost not just for the real meaning of that term but, more importantly, the future of the GOP and the ability to be able to come together when the need arises against Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and the radical left.

Flashback –>> Analysis: An All-Too-Predictable Turning Point Arrives in Media’s Trump vs. DeSantis Wargaming


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