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New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was seen having what appeared to be a tense discussion with Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz after he opposed Rep. Kevin McCarthy in voting for a new Speaker of the House.
A camera caught Ocasio-Cortez and Gaetz discussing something in the aftermath of the first vote.
“Ocasio-Cortez and Gaetz appeared to be cordial during the conversation in the 17-second video, which ended with Gaetz and Ocasio-Cortez walking away from each other. A second video showed Ocasio-Cortez and Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar having an amiable conservation in adjoining seats on the floor of the House of Representatives,” the Daily Caller reported.
Gosar & Gaetz chatting with AOC after McCarthy fails to secure the votes he needed to become Speaker.
2023 is weird already 😂😂pic.twitter.com/Isdhj9DHm3
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) January 3, 2023
Prior to that, Gaetz gave a passionate speech on the House floor and said he voted for Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to be the House Speaker, not McCarthy.
“Sometimes we have to do jobs that we don’t really want to do and sometimes we have to do jobs that we are called to do,” Gaetz said as he argued for Republicans to ditch McCarthy during his viral speech. “So my colleagues, I rise to nominate the most talented, hardest, working member of the Republican conference, who just gave a speech with more vision that we have ever heard from the alternative.”
“I’m nominating Jim, Jordan. Jim Jordan is humble, perhaps today humble to a fault. Maybe the right person for the job of Speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it so bad,” Gaetz said. “Maybe the right person for the job of Speaker of the House isn’t someone who has sold shares of themself for more than a decade to get it.”
BREAKING: Rep. @MattGaetz takes the floor to nominate Rep. @Jim_Jordan for Speaker of the House. pic.twitter.com/Pxh8dPNzoB
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) January 3, 2023
According to the Intercept, Gaetz told Ocasio-Cortez that McCarthy was trying to cut a deal with Democrats, telling them to vote “present” so he is able to become speaker.
Ocasio-Cortez said that wasn’t going to happen.
“McCarthy was suggesting he could get Dems to walk away to lower his threshold,” Ocasio-Cortez said to The Intercept about her conversation with Gaetz. “And I fact-checked and said absolutely not.”
Check out what the outlet reported:
Gaetz told Ocasio-Cortez that McCarthy has been telling Republicans that he’ll be able to cut a deal with Democrats to vote present, enabling him to win a majority of those present and voting, according to Ocasio-Cortez. She told Gaetz that wasn’t happening, and also double-checked with Democratic party leadership, confirming there’d be no side deal.
Gaetz, who has shown a willingness to break with the GOP establishment, said that his crew of McCarthy opponents was dug in and would continue to resist him, adding that McCarthy has been threatening opponents with loss of committee assignments. A private gathering of Republicans ahead of the vote had been heated, multiple sources said. (Gaetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Earlier this Tuesday, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade tore into some Republicans over putting their own egos over practicality in opposing McCarthy from becoming the next speaker of the House.
He spoke to his co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt during “Fox & Friends,” where he suggested that some Republicans are thinking only of themselves.
“If they said ‘Hey, listen, he won’t do anything on the border. He’s not doing anything with Hunter Biden. He is not going to do anything to go reduce spending.’ None of this is true, so it’s almost as if they’re debating things that are their egos, nothing to do with America. I’m not even talking about Republicans. Republicans or Democrats. They can’t grab onto anything except for, I guess, they want to get a little bit more notoriety in their lives,” he said.
He was also furious with the concessions McCarthy had to make in order to secure some of the votes that are needed for him to become Speaker.
“How are you supposed to do your job?” he said. “You have over 200 people you are going to be representing. If five don’t like what you do, then you are out… You can’t kiss everyone’s butt in order to do that job. You have got to do what’s better for the whole, or dare I say, better for the country.”
They then showed a video of Rep. Bob Good saying that McCarthy’s bid for Speaker was dead the day before. Kilmeade suggested that Good held a grudge against McCarthy for not endorsing him in the primaries.
“You should not take this job if it’s about your ego and your own personal agenda. The whole thing should be service for the country and the subset is your party. Please explain to me how this helps your party. You are looking like idiots in front of the country,” the host said.
Former President Donald Trump also endorsed McCarthy.
“I like him,” Trump said of McCarthy.
“I think it’s a very dangerous game that’s being played It’s a very dangerous game. Some bad things could happen,” he predicted.
“Look, we had Boehner, and he was a strange person, but we ended up with Paul Ryan, who was ten times worse. Paul Ryan was an incompetent speaker. I think he goes down as the worst speaker in history. We took [out] Boehner—and a group of people, some of whom are the same, and they’re very good friends of mine. All those people are very good friends of mine,” Trump said.