McCarthy, GOP Lawmakers Scream At Matt Gaetz to ‘Sit Down’ During Closed-Door Meeting: Reports


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

Several House Republican lawmakers, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), reportedly screamed and yelled at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) during a closed-door GOP conference meeting to decide how best to proceed in order to name a new Speaker, according to reports.

Axios Capitol Hill reporter Juliegrace Brufke noted on the X platform on Thursday, “Per a source in the room, McCarthy screamed at Matt Gaetz to sit down when he went to the mics, with the source saying Rep. Bost ‘almost lunging at him.’” Rep. Mike Bost is a GOP lawmaker from Illinois.

“McCarthy advocated for empowering McHenry while Jordan stayed on as speaker designee, per two sources,” she added.

Later, both McCarthy and Gaetz appeared to confirm the incident to reporters.

In response to a question from an MSNBC reporter about how “icy” it was in the GOP conference meeting for him, Gaetz explained that as an attorney by trade, he doesn’t “get emotional” when making his case.


“I’m not for everyone, as it turns out, and I have my detractors, but I’m an attorney by trade,” he began. “I don’t get emotional about the presentation of arguments, listening to other people’s arguments, that doesn’t affect how I think about people.

“I was there to make the substantive argument that ‘Speaker light’ is a bad idea, just like Bud Light,” he continued. “I prefer for us to continue having votes, going forward, and you know, when I held out with Speaker McCarthy, we had goals. We had specific things we were fighting for. I think a reasonable question to those holding out and not voting for [Rep. Jim] Jordan [R-Ohio] is, ‘What are you fighting for? What are your goals? What are your objectives other than just recalcitrance?’”

McCarthy also confirmed the incident but was less charitable with his explanation.

“I was at the mic, I was speaking, and Matt Gaetz tried to interrupt essentially, and I told him to sit down, and he sat down,” the California Republican began.

When pressed further about whether he “screamed” at the Florida Republican, McCarthy said, “I think the entire conference screamed at him.”

“Listen, the whole country, I think, would scream at Matt Gaetz right now,” he added. “Remember that the Crazy 8’s under the leadership of Matt Gaetz and every single Democrat were responsible for getting us into this situation. We’ve never been in this situation before. But how do you have 4 percent of your conference remove a Speaker when 96 percent are there? This is why we’re here. He had no plan afterwards.”

McCarthy went on to point out that the House is left without a leader at a critical time — when Israel is under attack and at war, and there is no clear direction to a new Speaker at this point.

“It’s a difficult situation driven by one person for his own personal beliefs, his own animosity towards me, and his concern about what’s inside an ethics complaint that was filed before I was even Speaker,” McCarthy added.

Friday morning, meanwhile, Jordan vowed to remain in the Speaker’s race, subjecting himself to a potential third unsuccessful vote later in the day.


“We need to get to work for the American people. We need to do what we said we were going to do, we need to do what we told them we were going to do when they elected us and put us in office, and frankly, we can’t do that if the House isn’t open. We can’t open the House until we get a speaker,” Jordan said, according to CNN.

“The quickest way to get all this working is to get a speaker elected. That’s what I’m hoping we can do today,” he added.

When pressed by the network about how many rounds he’s prepared to go, Jordan added: “The plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible.”


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