Gaetz Denies Plans for Governor Bid – ‘I’m Exactly Where I’m Supposed to Be’
Congressman Matt Gaetz–currently embroiled in controversy for his role in ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership role–says he has no intention of running for Governor of Florida in 2026. With DeSantis term-limited and unable to seek a third consecutive term, speculation is again mounting that Gaetz may step in to seek the Governor’s mansion.
But despite the rumors, the Florida Congressman says he has ruled out the possibility.
“I’m not running for governor,” he said in a Thursday interview with CBS News’ Jim DeFede. “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Gaetz has denied plans to seek the Governorship in the past, but that has not stopped voters from speculating.
In August, Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Kimberly Guilfoyle said in an interview that they were “pre-endorsing” Gaetz for the 2026 governor race. The couple, both Florida residents, encouraged Gaetz to launch a bid.
“I’m the first to endorse Matt Gaetz for governor because I just want to see the meltdown, the media absolute meltdown to that announcement,” Trump Jr. said. “I will be your campaign manager, fundraiser, whatever. I will work on that campaign aggressively.”
Gaetz laughed and said he would “definitely enjoy that job so much I would never leave it if I ever got that opportunity.”
Trump on whether Matt Gaetz should run for governor of Florida:
"He's a great guy … He's strong." pic.twitter.com/DupoyH8Xby
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) September 27, 2023
While speaking to DeFede, Gaetz also shared his thoughts about the ongoing frenzy on Capitol Hill. In the interview, he remained unapologetic for his role in toppling Kevin McCarthy and cheered on some of his colleagues now seeking the Speaker’s gavel.
“Honestly, I’m full of optimism and positivity because right now we have two terrific candidates for House speaker and our current whip, Steve Scalise,” he told the CBS host.
“And in one of my personal mentors and heroes, Jim Jordan, who chairs the Judiciary Committee. So there are some raw feelings and emotions because, you know, folks are doing their hand-wringing and bedwetting over the end of Kevin McCarthy speakership. But I think we need to look forward.”
Gaetz said that his repeated, high-stakes feuding within the GOP made him an “unpopular guy” in Washington but added that he had no regrets. He called out lawmakers for allowing America’s debt to spiral. “And while in Washington, D.C., I guess I’m an unpopular guy; my job is to ensure that the American experience is able to persist,” he said.
“And if we have a $33 trillion debt facing $2.2 trillion annual deficits, and if all these folks in Washington, D.C. want to continue to drive up spending so that they can keep taking lobbyists and special interest money to convert into favors, that’s just not going to sit well with me.”
My expectation is that we will have a new, better, reinvigorated House Speaker, and it’s going to be a great thing for the country.
I know who I work for, and it’s not the people in Washington D.C. It is the Americans who elected me to change Congress for the better. pic.twitter.com/KEqj25FWlW
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 5, 2023
Gaetz also said that he plans to spend time campaigning with former President Donald Trump next week despite the coming vote for a new Speaker of the House. Gaetz told DeFede that “one way or another,” he intends to be present for the next vote.
“I do have plans to campaign with him next week pending, of course, what’s going on in the speaker contest? I’ll be here to cast my vote for that one way or the other.”
Gaetz claimed to have spoken to Trump as recently as Wednesday. “He’s been very encouraging of my policy goals, of getting a balanced budget, putting downward pressure on spending.” Despite previously supporting McCarthy for the speakership, Trump was reportedly “upset” at his recent handling of the debt limit deal.
“And, you know, President Trump was upset that Speaker McCarthy poorly negotiated the debt limit deal and poorly negotiated the continuing resolution.”
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