Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) reportedly indicated in a statement to Fox News on Wednesday that former President Trump’s endorsement of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for Speaker did not influence his determination to support someone other than McCarthy.
“Sad! This changes neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote.” Gaetz remarked in a statement he released to Fox News.
Gaetz was one of 20 Republican members who spearheaded the fight to keep McCarthy from becoming Speaker of the House, voting three times for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) before the House adjourned on Tuesday.
Jordan has stated that he does not want the role and, on Tuesday, backed McCarthy for speaker, pushing holdouts to vote for the GOP leader.
Gaetz and 19 other Republicans voted for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) as Speaker on Wednesday, depriving McCarthy of the top GOP House post for the fourth time.
On Tuesday, Gaetz wrote to the Architect of the Capitol, wondering why McCarthy was in the Speaker’s office if no Speaker had been appointed.
Trump, who backed Gaetz in Florida’s race in August, urged all House Republicans to vote for McCarthy on Wednesday, saying the GOP should “close the deal” and “take the win” on Truth Social.
“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!” Trump wrote on the social media platform.
McCarthy has Trump’s backing, but he is opposed by roughly 20 Republican legislators who say he is not conservative enough and has failed to provide specific promises on rules changes that will decentralize authority in the House.