Matt Gaetz calls out Trump over support for McCarthy’s speaker bid

Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said he wouldn’t bet on his support to help Kevin McCarthy become House speaker under “almost any circumstance” as the 118th Congress is set to enter another day without any candidate reaching the 218-vote threshold.

“It is not the end of the world that we take a few extra days or maybe even a couple of weeks to sort this out,” he said Thursday on “The Ingraham Angle.”

Twenty GOP holdouts voted against McCarthy, changing their nominations from Reps.-elect Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to Byron Donalds, R-Fla., to Kevin Hern, R-Okla. 

Gaetz nominated former President Donald Trump on the third day of voting, saying he would make “the House of Representatives great again.”

Host Laura Ingraham asked what other concessions McCarthy had to give or agree to for the Florida congressman-elect’s vote. 

“I wouldn’t be betting on my vote for Kevin McCarthy under almost any circumstance,” he responded. 

“So, it’s personal,” Ingraham said. 

She added: “You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say 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.”

Gaetz pushed back, arguing he believes McCarthy is “the masthead of the lobby core” and resents the “extent to which [he] utilizes the lobbyists and the special interests to be able to dictate how political decisions are made, how policy decisions are made, and how leadership decisions are made.” 

“Kevin McCarthy has been in the leadership for 14 years and he has sold shares of himself to special interests, to political action committees, and so that’s why I don’t think he is an appropriate choice. He also has no ideology.”


Ingraham questioned why Gaetz has not heeded Trump’s calls for the party to stop the gridlock and elect McCarthy as speaker. 

“I love President Trump. I defended him a great deal in Congress, but HR wasn’t always his strong suit,” he explained. 

Gaetz continued, saying he believes the 45th president is “wrong” to support McCarthy’s speakership bid

“President Trump is wrong to the extent that he supports Kevin McCarthy. I’m going to support President Trump when he runs for re-election in 2024, but I’m not going to back him on this play. 

Gaetz said if McCarthy drops out, he would like to see Jordan launch a campaign for speaker. However, he didn’t outright state whether he would support Jordan’s campaign if, in fact, he chose to run. 

“We trust Jim Jordan. We have zero trust in Kevin McCarthy.” 

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