Matt Gaetz said he won’t move on Speaker, labels Kevin McCarthy as ‘desperate’

Matt Gaetz
“I’m ready to vote all night, all week, all month and never for that person.”

A seventh vote for the Speaker of the House won’t happen until Thursday. But Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz said he would stay on the floor all night and suggested a delay won’t change his vote.

(Note: All House members currently bear the title of “Rep.-elect” until a new Speaker is chosen and members are sworn in).

The Fort Walton Beach Republican had been among the most vocal critics of Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican favored for Speaker by most House Republicans.

“He’s a desperate guy whose vote share is dropping with every subsequent vote, and I’m ready to vote all night, all week, all month, and never for that person,” Gaetz told reporters after a meeting in McCarthy’s office.

Instead, the House adjourned Wednesday night on a narrow 216-214 vote. Gaetz was among just four Republicans who sided with Democrats in voting against calling it a night.

McCarthy hasn’t been kind in the press to Gaetz, either.

On Tuesday, McCarthy accused Gaetz of publicly expressing philosophical concerns about House rules but privately demanding personal benefits like subcommittee chairmanships in exchange for his support.

“One, Matt Gaetz, said, ‘I don’t care if we go to plurality and we elect Hakeem Jeffries,” McCarthy told reporters. Rep.-elect Jeffries is the Democratic nominee for Speaker.

Republicans won 222 seats to Democrats’ 213 in the Midterm elections, flipping the House, albeit with a slim majority.

The 118th Congress gaveled in on Tuesday, Jan. 3, but until a Speaker is selected, no other business will take place. On Tuesday and Wednesday, there were six votes for Speaker. All Democrats supported Jeffries in each vote, but around 20 Republicans refused to support McCarthy, preventing any candidate from reaching a majority.

On Wednesday, Rep.-elect Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican, won 20 votes on three separate ballots. Gaetz was among those supporting Donalds. He said on the House floor; it was a historic vote potentially for the first Black Speaker of the House.

Meanwhile, he has remained immovable to date on McCarthy, even sending a letter to the Architect of the Capitol office questioning why the California Republican is allowed to work out of the Speaker’s Office.

Gaetz referenced that with reporters on Wednesday, accusing McCarthy of “squatting.”

“Why is he even allowed to be there?” Gaetz asked. “Like, is there some basis in law or statute or rule that someone who comes in second place in six consecutive Speaker races?”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


10 comments

  • Harold Finch

    January 4, 2023 at 9:47 pm

    Gaetz is a cancer for the Republican Party. And a slimly, egotistical pervert! What a complete disgrace!

  • PeterH

    January 5, 2023 at 12:22 am

    Why would the majority of the Republican Party and most Americans allow 20 unhappy incompetent disengaged MAGA RINO’s set the direction of US Policy for the next two years?

    As this plays out …. Gaetz and his merry band of Trumpster wingnuts will find themselves under the Republican Clown Bus with no committee asignments. DeSantis should take note. Florida may admire his politics …. but he has no place on the National stage.

  • Hope

    January 5, 2023 at 12:40 am

    This is the opening warm-up act before the Trump nomination for Speaker. Trump will resoundingly win. Hmm…Trump or McCarthy? It could happen and be the biggest Democratic. Party spanking since the Martha’s Vineyard surprise.

    • Elliott Offen

      January 5, 2023 at 8:16 am

      👆 Delusional neo nazi troll. Trump is politically impotent and radioactive waste. Just move on. You fked up.

    • Ocean Joe

      January 5, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Got to say, if you take joy out of migrants lives being played with like toys you might want to start reading that Bible you are always trying to cram down everybody else’s gullet.

  • The ghost of HOB

    January 5, 2023 at 12:46 am

    Matt is a sentient frat paddle, but he makes me laugh sometimes.

  • Mac Wiseman

    January 5, 2023 at 7:18 am

    The left and Chamber of Commerce Republicans really want McCarthy. It will be exactly like Nancy Polosi never left.

  • It's Complicated

    January 5, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Who are alternatives to McCarthy and one of the 20 dissenters? Is there a Republican who could get 218 votes?

    From a conservative standpoint, Gaetz is on the correct side on many policy issues and in his view of how dysfunctional DC swamp is, but he occupies ZERO moral high ground based upon his character. He is an utterly godless man.

  • Leonard

    January 5, 2023 at 8:57 am

    Gaetz represents everything that is wrong with politics. He is in the process to “be somebody”…and to get power he can use to benefit himself. This will not end well for him…..he already knows that Speaker McCarthy will isolate him because he is toxic. What is currently taking place should have occurred in the Republican Caucus vote….this is NOT the way to achieve reforms in the House. This “Group of 20” looks more like a bunch of little kids trying to play grown up than a group trying to reform the swamp.

  • Joy Smith

    January 6, 2023 at 6:50 pm

    Why in the world would anyone oppose a Rule that required more then 72 hours to read a bill. Those 20 brave patriots are only trying to establish a better way to run Congress rather than as it has been in the past!

Comments are closed.


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