Gaetz says he won’t support McCarthy for House speaker

Politics

(NewsNation) — Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz told NewsNation he won’t support Rep. Kevin McCarthy for House Speaker, saying McCarthy believes in top-down leadership that doesn’t serve the Republican Party.

“We’ve seen that failed the American people, we’ve seen it result in bills that are 1000s of pages of law long, spending billions of dollars without even the time to be able to review legislation,” Gaetz said.

Gaetz, who is under investigation by the Justice Department, once floated the idea of former President Donald Trump as House Speaker, though he also said he would support Rep. Jim Jordan for the Speaker role. He is not looking at running for the position himself, he said.

With Republicans projected to win the House with a narrow majority, the GOP won’t have many votes to spare when setting their agenda. That would put McCarthy in the position of juggling demands from various wings of the party.

McCarthy won the GOP nomination for the role but still faces a final vote on the House floor in January. In early meetings with Republicans, McCarthy reportedly pledged to lead the party the way members want him to.

“He’s our best strategist. He’s our best fundraiser. He’s our best candidate recruiter. Isn’t that the guy you want to lead you? I think so,” said Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole of McCarthy.

Gaetz is currently under investigation for allegations that he paid a 17-year-old for sex. An associate of his is facing sentencing for charges including sex trafficking of a child, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official.

Gaetz has denied the allegations and previously said they were part of an extortion plot. No charges have been brought against the congressman.

Looking ahead to 2024, Gaetz is still supporting Trump.

“I don’t think makes serious political observers believe that the Republican nomination isn’t going to go to President Trump with the strong base of support he has,” Gaetz said.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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