On Fox News, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) justified his opposition to Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid for speaker and claimed that former President Donald Trump is “wrong” to endorse him.
Out of the 20 House Republicans who have consistently voted for other members, Gaetz has been the most outspoken and visible opponent. For the eleventh time in a row, the anti-McCarthy group was successful in keeping him from becoming speaker on Thursday.
McCarthy, who is backed by Trump, is said to have conceded to a number of the holdouts’ requests, but they have continued to vote against him. The Republican from California needs 218 votes to become the next speaker, so he cannot afford to lose even five of the GOP conference’s members, much less 20.
Gaetz reaffirmed his objections and declared he would never vote for McCarthy on The Ingraham Angle on Thursday.
Laura Ingraham told Gaetz, “You know, on the establishment problems, I’m absolutely with you. But I’ve always been interested in the art of the conceivable. What might this be? You did receive a number of concessions from McCarthy in an effort to reach 218; I’m not sure if I were on the other side, I would have given you those concessions.
She noted a number of the accomodations that McCarthy made to the holdouts, including those who belonged to the fervently conservative House Freedom Caucus.
She observed that “he decreased the threshold of the votes necessary to start the process of ousting himself as speaker.” He also consented to increase the number of Freedom Caucus members on the House Rules Committee and to keep his own PAC out of GOP primaries. And from what I hear, he also agreed to a different procedure for approving earmarks and to allowing floor votes on bills pertaining to term limits for members and a clear border policy. What else must he accomplish or consent to in order for Matt Gaetz to say, “Ok, I’m on board”?
In response, he said, “I wouldn’t bet on my support for Kevin McCarthy under nearly any condition.
Then it’s personal, Ingraham retorted. “You just brought up a moral point. You cannot have it all. The statement “I’m a man of principle and I believe in X, Y, and Z, but if he gives me X, Y, and Z, I’m not going to vote for him” is inadmissible. What? How is that even logical?
Laura, let me explain it to you this way,” Gaetz said. “The lobby corps’ masthead is Kevin McCarthy. And I object to the amount to which Kevin McCarthy relies on lobbyists and special interests to be able to control how political, policy, and leadership decisions are made. For fourteen years, Kevin McCarthy has served as the team’s commander. I don’t think he is the right choice because he has sold shares of himself to political action committees and special interests.
Gaetz has been one of Trump’s most enthusiastic backers, according to Ingraham, who also mentioned that Trump supports McCarthy.
She questioned, “But why is Trump for him.” How many posts from President Trump saying, “Ok, this has been enjoyable, but let’s end it up here” can we find on Truth Social? Is he mistaken?
President Trump has my heart. Before outlining some of Trump’s cabinet picks he disagreed with, Gaetz stated, “I defended him a great deal in Congress, but HR wasn’t always his strong suit. “President Trump brought in officials who didn’t always advocate an America First strategy, such Jeff Sessions, Bill Barr, Jim Mattis, and Mark Esper.”
“So you’re saying he’s mistaken on that?” said Ingraham.
I do,” he answered. “I believe that President Trump is incorrect in his backing of Kevin McCarthy. I will back President Trump in his 2024 reelection bid, but I won’t support him in this particular move.
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