On Wednesday morning, following the election for the next Republican Speaker-designate, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined Steve Bannon on the War Room to discuss what he witnessed.
Gaetz revealed that Kevin McCarthy was attempting to sabotage the candidates vying for his position by covertly working in the background.
Matt Gaetz: We get that through the Gestation system early yesterday. So as Emmer is withdrawing, Mark Molinaro, a moderate New York freshman Republican, stands up at the microphone and says, well, instead of restarting this process and having a candidate forum and sending everybody home for a good cry, let’s just take a non binding poll on where people would be on the person who came in second to Tom Emmer, and that was Mike Johnson. And Elise Stefanik said, well, that’s against the rules. The rules don’t contemplate it. We can’t do that.
And brilliantly Mark Molinaro says, then I move for unanimous consent that the rules be waived, and we take a poll on whether or not Mike Johnson could be our Speaker nominee. And guess who objects to that unanimous consent request? — Kevin McCarthy!
Kevin McCarthy stands up and says, I object to doing a roll call on Mike Johnson. And Mike Johnson was exasperated. All the times Johnson had voted for McCarthy, had carried his water, maybe even voted for some bills he didn’t like because he was working toward the Republican conference’s stated objectives under McCarthy. And here was the thing — It showed everyone that it was actually McCarthy who was working to knife Scalise. It was actually McCarthy who was working to knife Jim Jordan. It was McCarthy working to knife everyone, and he hadn’t yet figured out a way to knife Mike Johnson. And so he was worried that there was going to be this great unifying moment, and he scuttled the unifying moment.
So because of McCarthy’s objection, we had to have this three hour delay, and candidates announce again, have another form, and guess what happens during that delay? Steve Patrick McHenry runs to the House floor, opens it up out of recess, and then adjourns till noon today. Now, why did he do that? Because they were setting up a play to block Mike Johnson with write in votes in the intra conference process for Kevin McCarthy.
They were promising people hearings on their favorite legislation, passage of bills. I heard people promised, oh, maybe you’ll get a chairmanship. And the play was for McCarthy to return as speaker and then Jim Jordan to be the deputy speaker in some sort of way, like, Dwight Schrute assistant to the regional manager posture. And that would have been debasing to Jordan, someone I like a great deal, and it would have been empowering to McCarthy.
So Garrett Graves and all these people are working to try to effectuate this return of McCarthy, and they’re telling us they’re going to be 100 votes for McCarthy on the write in. You know how many there were? 33 on the first write in. So they flame out terribly. Mike Johnson’s gaining momentum.
Ultimately, McCarthy gets 43 to vote for him on a secret ballot, but Mike Johnson gets a majority.
And then he (Mike Johnson?) says, you know what I want? I want a roll call vote so that those 43 would have to announce themselves as being for a candidate who wasn’t even running instead of a unifying force like Mike Johnson. And when we called for the roll call. Do you know how many people voted for Kevin McCarthy? Zero!
So he went from promising 100 votes, to delivering 43, to zero willing to vote for him! And everyone in the room knew at that moment that I wasn’t the force for chaos. I wasn’t causing disunity that for the last three weeks, the reason the House of Representatives has been paralyzed is because for his own selfish gain, Kevin McCarthy was sabotaging the candidacy of anyone else because he was plotting a return. And we stopped it.
And in the place of Kevin McCarthy, we get a Bayou, Louisiana mike Johnson, a brilliant Constitutional attorney.