Feuds between congressional Republicans die hard.
Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy used his most pointed language for Rep. Matt Gaetz in remarks provided to Politico in a late November interview.
“You have a cross section,” the dethroned ex-speaker said of House Republicans from the state of Florida.
“You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members.”
It’s not entirely clear why McCarthy sees Gaetz as deserving of incarceration.
The latter was instrumental in vacating McCarthy from the office of speaker in October.
The former speaker suggested that an ethics complaint targeting Gaetz could see his downfall — akin to the expelled former Rep. George Santos of New York, speaking in a Sunday Fox News appearance.
Kevin McCarthy: “Matt Gaetz ethics complaint; I think once that ethics complaint comes forward he could have the same problem as Santos has”
McCarthy believes the GOP conference will unite better without Gaetz—and implies he could be expelled. Thoughts?pic.twitter.com/szwyOzzLcO
— Julia (@Jules31415) December 2, 2023
McCarthy has opened fire on Gaetz on previous occasions after losing the speaker’s gavel.
The California Republican pointed to the “crazy eight led by Gaetz” as a source of chaos within the House Republican caucus shortly after his demotion to a rank-and-file House member.
Gaetz — never one to back down in the face of verbal quips from his rival — fired back with heated language of his own.
“Tough words from a guy who sucker punches people in the back.”
Gaetz alluded to an incident in which McCarthy was accused of elbowing Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett in November.
“The only assault I committed was against Kevin’s fragile ego.”
Have NEVER seen this on Capitol Hill:
While talking to @RepTimBurchett after the GOP conference meeting, former @SpeakerMcCarthy walked by with his detail and McCarthy shoved Burchett. Burchett lunged towards me. I thought it was a joke, it was not. And a chase ensued…
— Claudia Grisales (@cgrisales) November 14, 2023
Burchett is one of the eight Republicans who succeeded in ending McCarthy’s speakership, according to The Washington Post.
Sources within Congress have indicated that McCarthy is eyeing a departure from the House of Representatives in the near future, according to The New York Times.
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