Speaking to Fox News host Guy Benson earlier this week, GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas made a splash by calling the 20 House representatives voting against Kevin McCarthy for speaker of the House as “terrorists.”
“I mean, it’s you know, it is obviously, obviously a figure of speech, but it’s you know, it is what it is. I mean, you’re holding a gun to our head,” Crenshaw said, refusing to apologize.
“I’ve already I’ve already been attacked by them because I’ve used harsh language and I’m like, you started this fight. If you don’t want to get into the Octagon and get punched in the face and don’t get into the Octagon, that’s how I feel about it.”
This was apparently supposed to be figurative speech after six speaker votes failed. After 14 votes failed, Alabama GOP Rep. Mike Rogers seemed to take it literally.
In a heated scene on the floor of the House after another vote failed late Friday night, Rogers lunged at one of the last remaining holdouts, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, and needed to be held back.
Gaetz had voted “present” in the 14th round of voting, which saw McCarthy take home 216 nods for speaker, according to CNN.
However, under House rules, McCarthy needed one more vote for him among those voting “present” — or one more “present” from those voting for other candidates — to secure the speakership.
Now, keep in mind that confrontations between members of the establishment and Matt Gaetz were nothing new, especially not on Friday. Here was Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois shouting him down on the House floor:
Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL) got up and screamed at Matt Gaetz as he tore into McCarthy. pic.twitter.com/JBlzvnHPIE
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 6, 2023
I’m sure he yelled just as loud at Dan Crenshaw for calling those voting against McCarthy “terrorists,” right?
Anyhow, Bost didn’t need to be physically restrained from going after Gaetz. The same can’t be said for Rep. Rogers in a scene that unfolded just after the 14th vote had been taken:
Wild scene as Rep. Mike Rogers has to be physically restrained by another member while going after Gaetz as McCarthy tries to secure final votes pic.twitter.com/c0u2lZxgYr
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) January 7, 2023
“Gaetz pointed fingers at McCarthy and when McCarthy walked away, Rep. Mike Rogers lunged at Gaetz,” as CNN noted.
An Associated Press photo shows a close-up of Rogers having to be physically restrained by another individual — identified on Twitter as North Carolina Republican Rep. Richard Hudson, chair of the National Republican Campaign Committee — to keep from from physical confrontation with Gaetz.
As tensions boiled over on the House floor during the speaker votes, Republican Mike Rogers of Alabama started to charge toward Matt Gaetz before Richard Hudson physically pulled him back.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 7, 2023
According to NBC News, “Rogers immediately left for the cloak room to cool off.”
The Alabama congressman, first elected in 2002, was “frustrated because Gaetz had been holding out for a subcommittee gavel on the Armed Services Committee,” the report read. “Rogers is poised to chair the full committee.”
This didn’t sway Gaetz into voting yes. He didn’t need swaying, however: On the 15th ballot, according to Roll Call, the four remaining Republicans voting for someone other than McCarthy — Arizona’s Andy Biggs and Eli Crane, Virginia’s Bob Good and Montana’s Matt Rosendale — all voted “present,” thus handing him the speaker’s gavel.
As of roughly 10:30 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday morning, this was the only tweet on Rogers’ account addressing the events of Friday night:
I am excited to see @GOPLeader elected Speaker of the House. Now it is time for the House to do the work the American people sent us here to do.
— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) January 7, 2023
Is he still cooling down in the cloak room?
Now, it’s worth noting that if you want to use the “terrorism” metaphor against anyone, Merriam-Webster defines the word as “the unlawful use or threat of violence especially against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion.”
Did Gaetz or any of the 20 House Republicans that held out against McCarthy’s speakership physically threaten anyone on the House floor? Not that we know of. That was all Mike Rogers.
I’m sure you’ll see Dan Crenshaw coming out on Saturday morning and applying the label to him, right? After all, if Crenshaw’s language wasn’t about performative intimidation on behalf of the establishment, surely the Texas representative will agree Rogers, not Gaetz, is the one deserving of being referred to as a “terrorist.”
Don’t hold your breath, though.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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