Republicans, livid that Matt Gaetz plunged the House of Representatives into turmoil, have begun to air the worst bits of the Florida Republican’s dirty laundry.
Gaetz introduced a motion to vacate the House speaker on Monday, saying he was frustrated by Kevin McCarthy’s decision to pass a continuing resolution and keep the government open. The next day, Gaetz led seven other Republicans to break ranks and vote with Democrats, ousting McCarthy. The House is now scrambling to find a new speaker, and Gaetz, the man who started it all, has no plan whatsoever.
Marc Short, who served as former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, brushed off the idea that Gaetz was actually upset about increased government spending with a horrifying joke.
“Matt Gaetz, to say he came here as a fiscal crusader, it’s more likely he came here for the teenage interns on Capitol Hill, to be honest,” Short said Wednesday night on CNN.
Host Jake Tapper did not question the statement at all but let Short continue on about how Gaetz keeps voting for federal spending bills.
Short was referring to a 2020 investigation into allegations that Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old. The Department of Justice dropped the investigation earlier this year.
Senator Markwayne Mullin also referred to that investigation, pointing out that the media ignored Gaetz after the accusations first broke and no Republicans came to his defense.
“We had all seen the videos he was showing on the House floor, that all of us had walked away, of the girls that he had slept with,” Mullin told CNN’s Manu Raju on Tuesday. “He’d brag about how he would crush E.D. medicine and chase it with an energy drink so he could go all night.”
“No one defended him,” said Mullin, “and then no one on the media would give him the time of the day. All of a sudden, he found fame because he opposed the speaker of the House back in November, and he’s always stayed there. He was never gonna leave until he got this last moment of fame.”
Other Republicans have also accused Gaetz of using the speakership debacle just to get attention. Representative Matt Lawler called Gaetz “disgraceful” and called for him to be expelled from the Republican conference. Representative David Joyce said Thursday he would support such a move.