Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) acknowledged Thursday that Rep.–elect Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) could one day be elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. However, he argued that he would be a speaker wearing a “straitjacket.”
Gaetz spoke with Fox News Digital before the House reconvened for a third day in an attempt to elect a speaker. He said that McCarthy provided “everything” his critics needed to win their votes but that it was not enough to bring the long-time Republican leader to the finish line.
Gaetz stated that there are two options: Kevin McCarthy can withdraw from the speaker’s course or he must wake up each morning and wear the best possible constructive straitjacket to do the prayer and pledge at the beginning and end of House session.
“Kevin McCarthy is offering everything he has to offer, everything we can ask for because of his current state desperation. I don’t know if that will be enough to get him to the top. He said that he doubted it would.
Gaetz did not explain why he didn’t support McCarthy, despite him making concessions to critics.
McCarthy failed to win the required majority of votes to become speaker. This was in just six votes. McCarthy’s support dropped from 203 votes on Tuesday’s first ballot to 201 votes Wednesday’s last votes. Twenty GOP members voted for Rep.-elect Byron Donalds (R-Fla).
McCarthy was asked by Republicans before Thursday’s vote if he expected the vote total to remain the same today. McCarthy replied, “Yeah. Pretty much.”
McCarthy said, “Nothing can be agreed to until all is agreed to.” I would not read any votes into today’s.
Gaetz simply referred to a quote by former President Donald Trump when he was asked what would happen if McCarthy refused to remove his name from the consideration and is unable reach a majority vote.
He said, “In the words America’s greatest President, ‘We will see.’”