Gaetz updates Fox News on speaker stalemate and brutally guts Trey Gowdy

The coronation of Kevin McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House continues to drag on after a the embattled Californian came out on the short end of the sixth vote on Wednesday night, leading to increased sniping at his conservative opponents.

One vocal lawmaker who is dug in against the “Speaker Designate” is Rep. Matt Gaetz and the Florida Republican discussed the stalemate with Fox News as the voting will enter a third day with McCarthy’s supporters in Congress and the media fuming over his humiliation.

Gaetz talked with anchor Trace Gallagher on “Fox News at Night” where he said that the only way that the resistance ends is with McCarthy either stepping aside or accepting the holdouts’ proposals.

Responding to Gallagher’s statement that McCarthy didn’t want another vote on Wednesday out of the belief that he’s getting closer to the magic number and whether it’s a fair assessment, Gaetz dismissed the idea.

(Video: Fox News)

“There’s a reason Kevin McCarthy doesn’t want to continue having votes and it’s because with each vote, he seems to be decreasing in his vote share and we’ve only increased with votes in our vote share in opposition to Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz said. “We suspect that trend is likely to continue.”

“And  I think this ends one of two ways, Trace, either Kevin bows out, realizing there’s no path for him to become speaker of the House even if he picks up one, two or three or five of the twenty who have opposed him a half dozen times on the floor, or he essentially has to wake up, bring the House into session, and put on a straitjacket with a rules package that we presented to him that doesn’t allow a lot of discretion for the Speaker of the House,” he continued.

“The reason we’ve demanded that is we do not trust Kevin McCarthy, and it’s not a small body of work,” Gaetz noted. “The guy has been in leadership in Washington, D.C. for 14 years and this town needs to change, and we’re going to change it one way or the other, either by changing out the Speaker or by having the most fundamental rewrite of the rules in really, my lifetime.”

“I’m not voting for Kevin McCarthy. There are some of the twenty who I suspect might if we got control of the Rules Committee and the Appropriations Committee in the hands of folks that don’t vote for bad rules and bad appropriations bills,” he added. “Remember, before the last omnibus, Kevin McCarthy was paving the way for some of the worst legislation, driving our country deeper into debt and borrowing against the futures of the next generation, and so If we got control of those key committees in the hands of conservatives, I think there are some of the twenty who might vote for Kevin McCarthy. If things stand as they are, I would suspect the opposition will only grow.”

Gaetz also brushed off criticism from former congressman and Fox News host Trey Gowdy who decried the process as a “clown show,” mockingly bringing up his handling of the committee that investigated the Benghazi fiasco.

“Trey Gowdy would know about clown shows, that’s probably how a lot of us would categorize the Benghazi hearings that resulted in people screaming at each other and a big report but no real accountability,” he said.

“I remember the Trey Gowdy who went on your network as a congressman and said that he’d reviewed what had gone on with the FBI and the Department of Justice and the FBI and that they had done nothing wrong and actually the American people would be happy of what they were looking at with President Trump,” Gaetz recalled. “We now, of course, know that to be false and even Trey Gowdy has expressed regret about that so I don’t exactly take a lot of armchair quarterbacking from someone who during his time in Congress wasn’t among the fighters.”

“We’re not trying to dictate terms, we represent our constituents,” Gaetz said of the holdouts. “Look, part of the group think of Washington, D.C. is you come here and you’ve just got to give the lobbyist your vote card and the leadership your calendar and everything will be okay. Kevin McCarthy has no ideology. Even his own supporters would admit that in private, he is simply a vessel through which lobbyists and special interests operate.”

“So it’s not that we’re not being team players it’s just that my team are the people in Florida who sent me here to fight for them. My team is not the assembly of groupthink that occurs inside the swamp. We’ve got to drain this swamp, we shouldn’t put one of the alligators in charge,” Gaetz concluded.

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