GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida was pleased with how a story apparently aimed at making him look bad actually puts him in a pretty good light.
Gaetz, of course, brought the ire of many on both sides of the political aisle after successfully orchestrating the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier this month.
It’s been nearly two weeks and the Republicans still don’t have a replacement.
A vote for Rep. Jim Jordan fell short Tuesday by 17 votes, with 20 Republicans voting against the Ohio representative.
BREAKING: Here are the 20 Republicans that just voted against @Jim_Jordan for Speaker on the first ballot:
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 17, 2023
Emily Mahoney, a political reporter with Tampa Bay Times, wrote in a piece published Tuesday, that members from both political parties have “bitterness toward Rep. Matt Gaetz,” because of the whole ordeal.
Rep. John Rutherford (R- FL) said he still supported Rep. McCarthy (R-CA) for the speakership, saying he had 96% of the conference’s support: “I’m a no on allowing Matt Gaetz and the other seven to win by putting their individual in as speaker.” pic.twitter.com/lDySGPzvoZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 13, 2023
GOP Rep. John Rutherford of Florida was one of the “no” votes on Tuesday regarding a Jordan speakership.
“I’m a ‘no’ on allowing Matt Gaetz and the other seven to win by putting their individual as speaker,” Rutherford told reporters Friday was the reason he would be voting against Jordan.
Mahoney reported that Gaetz, while serving as a state House representative in Florida from 2010 to 2016, honed his political skills and earned the respect of some Democrats.
“Rick Kriseman, who overlapped with Gaetz in the Florida House for about two years before Kriseman became mayor of St. Petersburg, said Gaetz seemed to like those who argued with him most fiercely,” the Times said.
“I was a Democrat so I was never going to win, but I enjoyed debating him,” Kriseman told the news outlet. “Actually, when he heard I was leaving … he told me he was going to miss me.”
Gaetz confirmed in a social media post that was true.
“Mayor Kriseman has a good memory,” he wrote. “I did tell him I would miss him. His arguments in debate were always well-researched and thoughtful. Strenuous debate makes our policies better for everyone in the long run.”
Tampa Bay Times wanted to write a piece where people who served with me in state government could say bad things about me.
My favorite quote is how the Dem leader at the time was ‘frustrated’ that Democrats voted with me and respected me:
“Thurston said he grew frustrated by…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 17, 2023
Gaetz also highlighted a portion of the story that he called his “favorite” regarding former Democratic House Minority Leader Perry Thurston, who agreed the Republican’s time in the Florida house “sort of groomed him for where he is now.”
“Thurston said he grew frustrated by some of his fellow Democrats’ respect for Gaetz and his speaking acumen. Several Democrats joined with Republicans in Gaetz’s committee to vote against repealing ‘stand your ground’ in 2013,” the Times reported.
Gaetz concluded the Times wanted to interview people that would say “bad things” about him, but he came out looking pretty good.
The old saying “any press is good press” certain appears to be true concerning the Times hit piece against Gaetz.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.