Gaetz Receives Hero’s Welcome in Navarre, Touts Triumph over Swamp
Congressman Matt Gaetz was met with cheers and open arms at Navarre Park, Florida on Monday, where hundreds of his supporters showed up for a late-night rally. The campaign event comes less than a week after the election of Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as Speaker of the House, following Gaetz’s ouster of Kevin McCarthy.
In a speech to his supporters, Gaetz entertained with stories about the weeks-long chaos on Capitol Hill.
“In those tough moments in Washington, I could barely keep a food tester employed. I had three die on me last week,” he joked, according to a report by Florida Politics.
“I go into those rooms, and sometimes they hate me and are mad at me and are cussing me. But what sustains me is the courage I see come through this community. And it is your prayers.”
After facing immense criticism from Republicans for his role in vacating the Speakership and halting work in the House for three weeks, Gaetz has embarked on a victory lap and received applause from supporters in his district.
“Powerful people never give it away unless you take it,” the Florida Congressman remarked about the ouster. “I said Democrats might like him, but I told them it wasn’t going to be on Northwest Florida’s representative to own him … It turns out they didn’t want to own him either.”
“They say Matt Gaetz is full of chaos … Well there are times you can have constructive chaos and bring order out of chaos.”
— UrbanGirl🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@okanesc) October 31, 2023
Mike Johnson was elected speaker on Wednesday after three other Republicans had been nominated and ultimately failed to obtain the gavel. As a relative unknown compared to previous nominees Steve Scalise and Tom Emmer, Johnson received unanimous support from Republicans on the floor.
In an interview with WEAR News at Navarre Park, Gaetz described the election of Johnson as a triumph over the swamp.
“He’s a brilliant lawyer,” Gaetz said. “He’s been one of my closest allies in Congress. I’m so thrilled, so thrilled we got someone of his character in the speaker’s job.”
“My promise to you is that the Speaker of the House would be more conservative, and more honest, and in Mike Johnson of Louisiana, I’ve fulfilled both of those commitments,”
When Kevin McCarthy was Speaker of the House, it took him 7 months to pass one single-subject spending bill.
Under @SpeakerJohnson, we did the same work in 36 hours.
We finally have a Speaker who is not totally owned by the lobbyist-driven system that fuels massive federal… pic.twitter.com/b54aujjuu2
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 30, 2023
During the rally, Gaetz also campaigned against further aid to Ukraine, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
“I don’t think we should send another $115 billion to Ukraine,” Gaetz said after criticizing “so many” Republicans on Capitol Hill.
As the war against Hamas continues to heat up, however, Gaetz signaled his support for Israel and said that the two issues should not be ‘lashed’ together.
“The Biden Administration wants us to take one vote on Ukraine and Israel, and they’re very dynamic and different fights. I don’t think we should be spending any more money on Ukraine. I’ve been voting against U.S. involvement in that conflict for years,” he told the crowd.
“I do believe that we should support our ally Israel. But we shouldn’t deficit spend to do it. Speaker Mike Johnson is suggesting a $14 million cut to pay for aid to Israel. That was something real popular with the crowd here,”
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