Tag: matt gaetz
Kevin McCarthy

Former Speaker McCarthy Says Matt Gaetz 'Belongs In Jail'

Even though former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from his position nearly two months ago, his feud with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who orchestrated the ouster, appears to be intensifying.

In a Wednesday interview with Politicoabout the influence of Florida's Republican members of the House of Representatives, McCarthy posited that there was a "cross section" of Floridians in Congress.

"You have [Rep. Matt] Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members," McCarthy said.

McCarthy didn't specify what crime he thought Gaetz committed, though the remark may have been a reference to the Department of Justice's investigation into Gaetz for alleged sex trafficking of a minor (the DOJ ultimately declined to charge Gaetz with any crimes). Gaetz, for his part, dismissed McCarthy's remark. He also referenced the former speaker's alleged shoving of one of the eight Republicans who voted for his ouster in a capitol hallway earlier this month.

"Tough words from a guy who sucker punches people in the back," Gaetz said. "The only assault I committed was against Kevin’s fragile ego."

Gaetz has been a frequent target of McCarthy's rage. In an interview with CNN's Manu Raju, the former speaker suggested the House would benefit "tremendously" if the Florida Republican was no longer in Congress.

"People have to earn the right to be here," McCarthy told Raju. He adding that he doubted the GOP caucus "would ever heal if there's no consequences" for stripping him of his speakership and prompting a chaotic transition to Rep. Mike Johnson's (R-LA) election to the position.

"People have to earn the right to be here," McCarthy told Raju. He adding that he doubted the GOP caucus "would ever heal if there's no consequences" for stripping him of his speakership and prompting a chaotic transition to Rep. Mike Johnson's (R-Louisiana) election to the position.

In response to McCarthy's comment to Raju, Gaetz offered "thoughts and prayers to the former speaker as he works through his grief."

In October, Kevin McCarthy became the first sitting speaker of the House to be removed from his position via a motion to vacate put forth by members of his own party. Members of the GOP's far-right faction were upset with McCarthy's efforts to work with House Democrats to avoid a government shutdown.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Kevin McCarthy

GOP Congressman Says Kevin McCarthy 'Elbowed' Him From Behind

It’s hardly the “shot heard ‘round the world,” but the “shot to the kidney” former Speaker Kevin McCarthy sneakily delivered to Freedom Caucus foe Rep. Tim Burchett was the buzz of the Capitol Tuesday. It all started here:

That’s intrepid NPR reporter Claudia Grisales, who documented the atrocity and joined in the chase with Burchett after McCarthy’s low blow—in this case, an elbow to the kidneys while Burchett’s back was turned.

“He needs to go back to Southern California,” Burchett told reporters afterward, adding some tough talk. They should settle this in “the parking lot” he said, adding that “it would be a very short fistfight.” He said McCarthy is “a guy who throws a rock over the fence when he's a kid and runs home and hides behind his mom's skirt,” pointing out he still has his security detail.

And Burchett’s milking this for all it’s worth. “I can still feel it. … It was a clean shot to the kidney.”

What would another episode of “As the GOP Turns” be without the ever-present Rep. Matt Gaetz? “This is wild,” he tweeted. “McCarthy resorting to pushing people in the halls. What a weak, pathetic, husk of a man.”

Democrats weren’t going to miss out on the fun.

In case you were wondering just how petty and how small Kevin McCarthy could be, here you go.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Matt Gaetz

Does America 'Deserve' The Leadership Of House Republicans? Really?

“I think there’s some reason to doubt whether or not Matt Gaetz is serious,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, Republican from South Dakota.

Talk about an understatement. When a member of your own party verbally spanks you, and another characterizes your immediate fundraising following Tuesday’s congressional chaos as “disgusting,” as Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana made a point of doing, self-reflection might be a logical reaction.

But that is not what drives Gaetz, the Florida Republican who definitely got what he wanted — time in the spotlight and, yes, the ouster of now former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

What do Americans think, the people who don’t much care about the latest congressional preening, not when they came so very close to losing needed food aid, veteran counseling, education funding, access to parks and museums and all the meaningful and essential things in jeopardy when the government shuts down?

Well, of course some of those with worries about everything from the economy to the border who gave the GOP their current majority, albeit a sliver of one, might be pleased with the mess — as long as Gaetz and his tiny cohort disrupt. But what about those who wanted change, but not the drama of representatives such as Gaetz — and Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), George Santos (R-NY) and Lauren Boebert (R_CO)?

Greene made sure to insert an amendment in a Defense spending bill that would cut the salary of Secretary Lloyd Austin to $1, her petty posturing slamming the first African American to hold that position no coincidence. Fabulist Santos emerges from his corner from time to time, just to remind everyone that he’s a congressman and you’re not. Boebert? Enough said.

Don’t weep for the unfortunate McCarthy, though, considering the only thing he seemed serious about was becoming speaker. He didn’t even realize that if you want a few Democrats to throw you a lifeline, perhaps you shouldn’t break your pledge on opening an impeachment inquiry without a vote. And blaming the opposing party for dysfunction you clearly own is definitely not a good idea.

When he bargained away the store, giving far-right members the power to take it all away with one vote, when he grinned and bore it when Gaetz marked “present,” instead of affirming his leadership nine short months ago, McCarthy was cooked.

But there’s a reason so many Republicans are furious with Gaetz. And no, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who called out Gaetz in The Washington Post, doesn’t get a cookie. The man so many in both parties blame for poisoning any semblance of bipartisanship as speaker in the 1990s has more in common with the Florida firebrand than he has the self-awareness to admit.

This week’s food fight is the latest move that exposes the endgame of today’s GOP — power with a heavy dose of trolling. Being serious leaders of a country in need of leadership was never in the plan.

It makes sense that Donald Trump is the Republican Party. Ever on brand, the former president and current front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination couldn’t let the Washington GOP contingent get all the buzz.

So, this week he showed up and showed out at his trial on fraud charges in New York City.

It wasn’t the least bit amusing.

Trump’s performances curdled a long time ago, if they ever worked, at least for those on the receiving end of his bile. What he does, what his party does with rhetoric and action that riles up the base, hurts real people. His targeting of an American public servant is nothing new; this time, lies on social media about the New York judge’s clerk earned Trump a gag order.

From New York and Washington, the events of this week resembled a reality show that would tank in the ratings: “White Men Behaving Badly.”

The short-term funding deal keeping the government running is on track to expire in time for the holidays, while House Republicans are embroiled in what is sure to be a contentious battle over who will become the next permanent (ha!) speaker.

Who would want the job, knowing what happened to the last one — and previous GOP House speakers Paul D. Ryan and John A. Boehner?

Power, though, draws candidates like rotten meat draws flies, especially if you don’t intend to do the job. Rep. Jim Jordan has thrown his hat into the ring and possibly donned a jacket for a chance to bang that gavel. As Judiciary chair, the Ohio Republican has already proven to be an expert troller.

Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas has said he will file paperwork to nominate Trump, and why not?

One of the first actions of the guy holding the spot for now, Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina, proves that he has a qualification his party seems to love. In an act of vindictive cruelty, McHenry ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol hideaway office — while the Democrat was in California for the funeral of her longtime friend, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.


In a statement, Pelosi said: “Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them. Now that the new Republican leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important for the American people.”

Remember the lack of drama that marked Pelosi’s time as speaker, operating with a majority nearly as tight as McCarthy’s?

The GOP might take a leadership lesson from Pelosi, who put politics aside when she remained calm, and reached out with concern to her GOP colleagues when the Capitol was under attack from rioters some Republicans now characterize as “patriots.”

The current House minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, is learning fast. Jeffries kept his caucus together this week, and wound up looking like the grown-up, in contrast to an opposing party eating its young.

Turns out diversity really is our strength.

Reprinted with permission from Roll Call.

Steve Bannon Raising Funds For House Republicans Who Ousted McCarthy

Steve Bannon Raising Funds For House Republicans Who Ousted McCarthy

Reps. Matt Gaetz, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale — three of the eight Republican members of Congress who voted yesterday to oust now-former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy — appeared on former Trump strategist Steve Bannon’s show War Room this morning to defend their votes and fundraise ahead of the 2024 election.

Bannon’s influence in right-wing media and the Republican Party ebbs and flows. But he's always available in moments of crisis, and aligned members of Congress flock to his conveniently located studio when there is money to be raised.

It may be a short-term boost, but there are long-term consequences for relying on his platform, Over the years he has almost single-handedly caused Republicans to lose an otherwise safe Senate seat in Alabama after boosting extremist candidate and accused child predator Roy Moore in 2017, led the charge to insurrection in 2020, and boosted a slate of candidates who overwhelmingly lost in the 2022 midterms. As a policy advisor, he's not much better. For example, he once claimed the Biden administration's initiative to cure cancer is a covert operation to eliminate the human race; he has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin and called Russia's invasion of Ukraine a “regional border dispute between two Slavic peoples.”

Bannon is celebrating McCarthy’s historic ouster in the House, hailing “the hard eight” Republicans who voted against McCarthy as heroes.

“We are honored to have two of the leaders of this revolt with us live in the War Room today,” Bannon said.

He spent most of the first hour of his show with Mace and Gaetz, who both defended their “revolt” that has thrown the House of Representatives into chaos. Almost immediately, Mace made a plea for cash.

“The establishment is coming after me, I mean 100% — started last night and I need help, I’m going to need help to get through this,” she said before plugging her campaign website.

Gaetz followed up by plugging his own campaign website and tying his fundraising efforts to Bannon’s audience, who call themselves the “posse,” saying, “The posse won, and the posse was attacked last night.”

The pair offer little specifics on what they are looking for in a speaker going forward, though Bannon seemed to attack Rep. Steve Scalise.

“Jim Jordan, his people are saying he’s inching toward a speaker’s bid,” the host claimed. “I mean, Scalise would be naturally, that would be the logical order if you wanted the same apparatus to run you, that leadership team.”

“I think we would want to hear their vision,” Gaetz responded.

“We’re both open to who the next speaker is,” Mace said in the second segment. “I mean, we’re not asking for a whole lot. Just being responsible and telling the truth. That’s the low bar. That’s bare minimum.”

Rosendale appeared next and argued that “there is absolutely no reason that we can’t continue” the House GOP’s legislative business. Bannon asked Rosendale for his perspective on the succession battle coming up and the representative demurred, saying it’s “great” that “there will not be a coronation, there will be a discussion, a debate, and the No. 1 characteristic that I’m looking for is someone who’s trustworthy.”

Like his fellow travelers Gaetz and Mace, Rosendale also plugged his fundraising.

“The apparatus is coming after you and the other heroic, the patriotic, the hard eight, as I call them,” Bannon said, referring to efforts to unseat Rosendale and the others. “K Street, they’re in shock right now, but they’re regrouping overnight and they’re going to come hard. Where do they go for you, congressman?”

Rosendale then promoted his campaign website and social media before declaring: “This is about fighting for our nation. This is about allowing the Democrats to dictate the terms of how our government functions when we have a Republican majority, and if we’re not going to stand by and allow that to happen and let them push us further into debt.”

Not to be outdone, Bannon, a seasoned grifter, used the opportunity to plug his own hustle: promoting a collection of pamphlets he wrote on a website selling gold-backed retirement accounts. “Make sure you talk to Philip, Patrick, and the guys about the tax-free instruments and opportunities they have for you. But go do it today, you’ve got to be up to speed on everything related to precious metals, the United States dollar, and the debt crisis.”

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.