Gaetz Takes Victory Lap After Brutal Speaker Battle – ‘MAGA is Ascendant’

The U.S. House of Representatives finally has a Speaker, and the man behind the original motion-to-vacate says the last three weeks of chaos have all been worth it.

On Wednesday, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz congratulated colleague Mike Johnson (R-LA) on ascending to the gavel, ending a weeks-long battle that saw three different nominees rise and fall in the GOP conference. Johnson, the fourth nominee, received unanimous support from Republican members.

“He is sharp. He will be as respected in the homes of our most meaningful, righteous, and patriotic donors as he will at the rallies with our most enthusiastic and meaningful activists,” Gaetz told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon on the ‘War Room’ Wednesday.

“The swamp is on the run, MAGA is ascendant and if you don’t think that moving from Kevin McCarthy to MAGA Mike Johnson shows the ascendance of this movement, and where the power of the Republican Party truly lies, then you’re not paying attention,” Gaetz added.

“They are crying, they are hand-wringing, they are bed-wetting over on K Street because we have an honorable, righteous man who is about to take this position… He’s going to do great things for the country.”

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Since leading the charge to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position earlier this month, Gaetz has remained in the national spotlight, earning him praise and condemnation from rival factions of the Republican Party. The election of Speaker Johnson comes at an opportune moment for the Florida Congressman, whose approval this week sank underwater amid the chaos on Capitol Hill.

According to a poll conducted between Oct. 21 and 24 by The Economist/YouGov, Gaetz’s overall favorability has slumped to a net negative of 27 points. Among Republicans and Trump voters, Gaetz faired better but remained at a net negative. In a survey of Republicans, Gaetz had an approval rating of 28 points versus a disapproval rating of 33. Among Trump voters, Gaetz pulled a favorability rating of 32 points against an unfavourability rating of 34.

Nineteen percent of GOP voters viewed Gaetz as “very unfavorable” in the poll. The survey marks a stark departure from Gaetz’s favorability at the beginning of the Speakership battle, where the same pollster found him to be at a net positive across all conservative groups.

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Despite the recent hit to approval numbers, Gaetz is chalking up the past three weeks as a victory. Gaetz wrote in a new fundraising email sent out on Wednesday: “The Swamp lost today, friends. And the American People WON!”

“I know one thing — there’s not a single conservative in America who won’t appreciate the new direction we’re headed under our new leadership…

Mike Johnson is the America-First conservative we DESERVE as Speaker of the House,” Gaetz wrote in his fundraising email. “He is a principled leader who is one of President Trump’s biggest supporters. Mike will support single-subject spending bills (what our fight has been about from the beginning) and is the biggest threat to the Swamp and the lobbyists who have held Congress hostage for too long.”

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