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GOP Rep. Gaetz Stands Up Near McCarthy, Declares His Vote for Byron Donalds

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is not backing down in his opposition to voting for California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy to become the next speaker of the House.

The House Republican leadership drama continued on Wednesday after three failed votes to decide on a speaker Tuesday. McCarthy failed to win the House speakership in dramatic fourth-round voting.

Gaetz made headlines when he stood up near McCarthy and declared his vote for Florida Republican Byron Donalds to be the speaker, not McCarthy.

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Former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy is sounding off on a group of Republicans who are still holding out on voting for Kevin McCarthy to become speaker of the House.

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“Look, I got bad news for Kevin’s opponents. He’s got a lot more than 20 friends. So, there are more than 20 people that are going to say, you know what? We are not ever voting for anyone else. Bret, you got a guy who’s got 200 votes and the next leading vote-getter for very good reasons doesn’t want to be the speaker of the House,” Gowdy said during an interview on Fox News.

“And, yet, this kamikaze wing within the Republican Party knows better than 85 percent of the rest of the conference. Jimmy doesn’t want the job for a very good reason. I don’t know what happens. I will say this. They didn’t want a secure border. That is not what the negotiation was over, Bret. It was — there are a handful of people who want gavels and want things that they can’t get based on merit, and they can’t get it based on intelligence, but they want it given to them by the speaker of the House, and Kevin said no,” Gowdy added.

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Former President Donald Trump issued an urgent message Wednesday morning and urged House Republicans to vote for Republican Kevin McCarthy as speaker after the party failed to pick a leader on its first day in control of the chamber.

“​Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA, THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ​’​HOUSE​’​ TWICE!​,” the former president said in a post on his Truth Social platform.​

“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 added.

Trump added in another post: “TAKE THE VICTORY AND RUN!!!”

McCarthy revealed on Tuesday night that he spoke to Trump and that the 45th president still supported him to be the speaker of the House.

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“Trump has already reiterated his support; I talked to him tonight,” McCarthy told reporters.

Asked if Trump wanted him to keep pursuing the speaker’s gavel, McCarthy said, “Oh, yeah.”

“He thinks it’s better that all the Republicans get together and solve this, it doesn’t look good for Republicans, but we want to be able to solve it where we’re stronger in the long run,” ​he said. “Where what we went through today in the end becomes a positive that we’re actually focused, united.”

Trump previously warned against House Republicans playing games with the Speaker race.

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“I like him,” Trump said of McCarthy back in December. “I think it’s a very dangerous game that’s being played. It’s a very dangerous game. Some bad things could happen. 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.”

“Look, I think this: Kevin has worked very hard,” Trump continued. “He is just—it’s been exhausting. If you think, he’s been all over. I think he deserves the shot. Hopefully, he’s going to be very strong and going to be very good and he’s going to do what everybody wants.”

At a meeting with Republican members following the first failed vote on Tuesday, McCarthy laid out his case as to why he should be Speaker, essentially explaining that he had earned the position.

But that didn’t sit well with some members, including Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who reportedly muttered, “this is bullsh*t” when McCarthy was trying to unify the party.

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