Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said the election of Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House was the “ascension” of MAGA within the Republican Party.
Gaetz referred to Johnson’s election as a “great moment for the House” during a Wednesday appearance on Steve Bannon’s War Room.
The Florida representative said some lawmakers “left the room” during a Tuesday Conference meeting in protest of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ousting earlier this month.
“The swamp is on the run,” Gaetz said. “MAGA is ascendant.”
“If you don’t think that moving from Kevin McCarthy to MAGA Mike Johnson shows ascendance of this movement and where the power in the Republican Party truly lies, then you’re not paying attention,” he added.
.@RepMikeJohnson will do a great job as the next Speaker of the House!
Here’s what happened behind closed doors last night that led to him becoming Speaker-Designate: pic.twitter.com/p2HGmIim6B
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 25, 2023
Gaetz said “the swamp” was “crying” and “bed-wetting” because the House has an “honorable, righteous man” as Speaker.
“He’s gonna do great things for the country,” Gaetz added.
According to Gaetz, a House Member asked for a “unanimous consent” to waive Conference rules to poll Members on a potential Johnson Speakership on Tuesday night. McCarthy reportedly opposed the unanimous consent poll.
“It showed everyone that it was actually McCarthy who was willing to knife [Steve] Scalise,” Gaetz said of former GOP Speaker nominee. “It was actually McCarthy who was working to knife Jim Jordan. It was McCarthy working to knife everyone.”
Gaetz said former Speaker McCarthy “scuttled” the unifying moment within the Republican Conference which reportedly caused a three-hour delay. The Florida representative also criticized former Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry for recessing the House until noon Wednesday to hold a new Speaker vote in Congress.
According to Gaetz, McCarthy and others were offering concessions to House Republicans to “write-in” names during the next Speaker vote in hopes of ultimately re-electing McCarthy as Speaker. However, during a roll call vote, McCarthy received zero support from House Republicans.
“Everyone in the room knew in that moment that I wasn’t the force for chaos,” Gaetz continued. “I wasn’t causing disunity. That for the last three weeks, the House of Representatives has been paralyzed is because, for his own selfish gain, Kevin McCarthy was sabotaging the candidacy of anyone else because he was plotting a return.”
Gaetz praised Johnson as a “brilliant constitutional attorney.”
“He is sharp. He will be as respected in the … homes of our most meaningful, righteous, and patriotic donors as he will at the rallies with our most enthusiastic and meaningful activists,” he added.
Johnson officially secured Speakership on Wednesday with a unanimous 220 votes from House Republicans.