Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sharply criticized Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in a Thursday interview, saying the Republican Party would benefit “tremendously” if Gaetz were not around.
“Tremendously,” McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju when asked during their one-on-one interview how much the GOP would benefit if the Florida congressman weren’t around.
McCarthy said it’s “up to the conference” whether to move to expel Gaetz, when asked whether the GOP should take that step.
McCarthy’s comments come just more than a month after Gaetz forced a vote on a motion to vacate the chair, the procedural move that resulted in McCarthy losing the Speakership.
Eight Republicans, including Gaetz, joined Democrats in voting to oust McCarthy.
With no consensus candidate to fill the McCarthy’s void, the House GOP descended into three weeks of chaos over who would become the next Speaker. Eventually, the gavel went to little-known Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.).
Throughout those weeks, the simmering feud between Gaetz and McCarthy went into a full boil, as each took public shots at the other.
“The notion that the Republican conference is going to kick me out for doing something that was exceedingly popular, seems unlikely. The decision to fire McCarthy and replace him with Mike Johnson has been popular — popular with Democrats, popular with Republicans, popular with independents. It may be one of the most popular things House Republicans have done.” Gaetz said in response to McCarthy’s comments.
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