OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Fox News host Geraldo Rivera went head to head with Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz in a contentious interview in which he demanded to know why he and 19 other Republicans “tortured” House Speaker and California Rep. Kevin McCarthy.
“What in the world were you and your 19 colleagues doing torturing the speaker, your speaker, your speaker-designate Kevin McCarthy?” Rivera said on Thursday when the two appeared on the Fox News show “Hannity.” “What was that for? What did you hope to attain in that?”
“So, first of all, I’ve got some constituents in the military that could talk to you about real torture,” the representative said. “I don’t think sitting through 15 votes quite qualifies.”
“We believe that instead of having omnibus spending legislation that comes to us with only a few hours to consider thousands of pages and then vote on something that funds every agency of the government all at once, that we should take individual votes on appropriations bills,” Gaetz said. “That’s a concession we didn’t have when voting began. It’s one we earned by the time it ended.”
“We also believe that when bills are considered, they should comport to a single subject so I don’t have to do what I’ve had to do in the past, and vote on the farm bill at the same time you’re voting on whether or not there’s gonna be war powers in Yemen. We also wanted open amendments so Republicans or Democrats could offer germane adjustments to legislation and everyone could take votes on these things. You know, members of Congress, speakers, they come and go, but when–,” ge said before Rivera chimed in.
“Congressman, with your filibuster right now, you are portraying yourself to the American people as a thoughtful legislator,” Rivera said.
“Thank you,” Gaetz said.
“And yet, the publicity that you get – characteristically – almost inevitably is flamboyant, it’s confrontational–” Rivera said before they two men, and host Sean Hannity engaged in contentious crosstalk.
“I make a substantive argument about changes to the process and you call me flamboyant and confrontational?” the representative said.
“He answered your very specific question about what he was fighting for,” the host said. “My only argument – and Matt and I talked in December, you can verify this as true – my only beef with everybody was I wanted everybody to be in full agreement by January 3rd. Four days, it came and went. Now everybody’s on the same page.”
A week ago Rivera was in hot water again with critics, this time over a hot take he posted to Twitter suggesting that the new Republican House majority was focused on the wrong thing — an investigation into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden over past business dealings.
Also, Rivera was critical of the appointment of special counsels for both Presidents Biden and Trump regarding their possession of highly classified documents, perhaps in violation of federal law, at least in Biden’s case.
“Appointing a Special Counsel to investigate President Biden is as lame as it was to raid & relentlessly probe President Trump. Scold both of them. Revoke their library cards. Then, for the good of the country, move on. This case has 0 impact on the American people,” he wrote on the platform on Friday.
Appointing a Special Counsel to investigate President Biden is as lame as it was to raid & relentlessly probe President Trump. Scold both of them. Revoke their library cards. Then, for the good of the country, move on.
This case has 0 impact on the American people.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 13, 2023
Rivera was taken to task on social media for his remark.
“[S]uppose Biden was storing top secret docs about Ukraine to keep people from finding out how corrupt he has been, how many millions they’ve given him for influence…? Trump’s top secret docs gave him no advantage in life. Biden MUST be investigated… but it won’t be real,” Cleveland-area talk show host Dave Perkins noted.
“Whitewashing a VP stealing classified documents (which it has been reported are conveniently on point w/ topics/nations his son Hunter was in business dealings with) and holding on to them for 6+ yrs on various unsecure locations is NOT the best look Geraldo… A little [suspect],” another user wrote.
“So now that it’s your guy in a worse position we are supposed to just forget about it?” said another user.
“I may be mistaken but I missed your vitriolic response when trumps residence was raided with armed agents going through his wife’s underwear drawer,” another wrote.
“Biden was VP at the time. He shouldn’t have had the ability to remove those documents from the White House,” said another.
Rivera’s opinions continue to be controversial and he continues to not care.