This past week has been marked by a struggle on Capitol Hill between Republicans who support Kevin McCarthy for speaker and members of the House Freedom Caucus who say that they don’t trust him to lead.
One surprising moment came late Thursday afternoon when Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz called on his colleagues to vote for former President Donald Trump in place of McCarthy.
A viral video shows Gaetz rising from his seat and announcing that he was “formally nominating President Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the House.” He added, “Make the House of Representatives great again!”
I’m formally nominating President Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the House.
Make the House of Representatives Great Again! pic.twitter.com/HZJ4Mqc1bi
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 5, 2023
However, Gaetz’s decision to support Trump for speaker did not stop him from criticizing the former president’s backing of McCarthy, calling it “the worst Human Resources decision President Trump has ever made.”
Supporting McCarthy is the worst Human Resources decision President Trump has ever made.
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 4, 2023
What’s more, Fox News reported that Gaetz provided the network with a statement in which he professed to be unmoved by the former president’s endorsement of McCarthy, saying, “This changes neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote.”
Fox News responds
Fox News noted that on Wednesday, Trump put out a series of messages on Truth Social in which he urged Republicans to make McCarthy speaker.
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN,” he wrote.
“CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ‘HOUSE’ TWICE!” Trump declared.
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT
The former president went on to predict that McCarthy “will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!”
Meanwhile, Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted that while she supports Trump, she would rather see him back in the White House instead of occupying the speaker’s chair.
I don’t want to see President Trump be just third in line to President, I want to see him actually be President.
That’s why I was proud to endorse him the same day he announced he is running for President in 2024.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 5, 2023