Former speaker Nancy Pelosi was forced to quickly eat her words after Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz colluded with House Democrats to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership.
On Sunday, Gaetz appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” where he told host Jake Tapper that he planned to introduce a Motion to Vacate the Chair to remove McCarthy as Speaker.
Following his interview with Gaetz, Tapper spoke with Pelosi, asking her about Gaetz’s threat.
The former speaker dismissed Gaetz, telling Tapper he was wasting his time interviewing “that guy.” She insisted Gaetz “has no sway” in the House and suggested that his threat to oust McCarthy is nothing more than a stunt to “get on TV” and “raise money on the Internet.”
While Pelosi is likely correct in assessing Gaetz’s motives, her insistence that the Florida Republican “has no sway” proved to be incorrect.
Matt Gaetz turned out to have a lot of sway in the House, just not with the Republican conference.
Instead, Gaetz’s “sway” worked like a charm among Democrat members who were eager to toss McCarthy aside. Working with the Democrats, Gaetz forced his motion through on Tuesday in a 216 to 210 vote, with a helpful assist from seven Republicans.
In a press conference after Tuesday’s vote, McCarthy told reporters that he would not run for speaker again.
Noting that Gaetz’s motion only received support from 4 percent of the Republican conference, McCarthy said Gaetz and his 7 colleagues joined with every Democrat to “dictate who can be the Republican Speaker.” McCarthy said that this wasn’t good for the institution.
While the ousted speaker said he would continue to fight for the American people, he would not run for Speaker again. Instead, he told reporters that he would leave it to the Republican conference to select someone else.
The seven other Republicans who joined Gaetz in siding with the Democrats were Reps. Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, and Bob Good of Virginia.