'Donald Trump Is Wrong': Matt Gaetz Criticizes Former President for Backing McCarthy's Bid for Speaker


Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is suggesting former President Donald Trump has made the “wrong” choice in who he is backing to be the next House speaker.

Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon noted Monday his old boss has been making calls to support House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) bid to be speaker.

Gaetz responded, “I can’t wait to vote for Donald Trump in the 2024 election.”

However, he said, “If Donald Trump believes that Kevin McCarthy should be Speaker of the House, then Donald Trump is wrong. And Donald Trump has not always nailed it on the HR front.”

“President Trump is the leader of our movement, he sets the vision. But Donald Trump has not moved a single vote when it comes to the people considering how to cast their lot in the speaker’s race,” he added.

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McCarthy is aiming to become the speaker in January when Republicans will be in the majority in the House of Representatives.

However, he has apparently struggled to lock down the necessary votes.

In November, he won his party’s nomination in a 188-31 vote. However, that is short of the 218 votes he will need to become speaker when the full House votes in January.

And Trump has been calling Republican lawmakers to urge them to vote for the California Republican.

But, The New York Times notes Trump “has had little success to date in moving lawmakers over to Mr. McCarthy’s side.”

“Mr. Trump, according to people close to him, is not entirely sold on the notion of Mr. McCarthy as a strong speaker,” it explained. “But he considers Mr. McCarthy better than the alternative, including improbable scenarios in which the job instead might go to a moderate who can draw some votes from Democrats, or in which a handful of Republicans defect and help to elect a Democratic speaker.”

Still, McCarthy has voiced optimism that he will be able to secure the votes required to be speaker by Jan. 3 when the vote will take place.

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Gaetz has previously claimed he would vote for Trump to be House speaker.

“I just think America deserves that moment when Nancy Pelosi hands Donald Trump the gavel,” Gaetz said during an interview on former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka’s radio show in January.

He added, “I told him, ‘You don’t even have to be speaker for, like, the whole day. You could do it for, like, three or four hours, give the great speech, make a few structural reforms to the institution and then you could resign and we could have another election for speaker.’”

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