McCarthy Fumes at ‘TV Congressman’ Gaetz, One Month After Ouster

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy continued to fume at Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz in a new CNN interview, showing no indicator that he will be moving on any time soon. More than one month after being booted from the House of Representatives’ top job, McCarthy told the network that he is currently floating in limbo–unable to move past his ouster but unsure if he will remain in Congress.

His career remains in doubt as he says he will contemplate over the Holidays whether to run for another term.

The ex-speaker did not hold back when host Manu Raju asked about McCarthy’s feelings towards Gaetz.

“He doesn’t have a conservative bent in his philosophy, and just the nature of what he focuses on… Matt’s goal was to be the TV congressman,”

“I think Congress is too important, and the issues are too big to focus on such small things that Matt tries to do,” the California Republican added. “It’s more division–and focused on himself.”

Asked if he would do anything differently in hindsight, McCarthy suggested he had no regrets about the continuing resolution that led to his firing. “I would do the exact same thing again to keep our government open, to fund our troops,” McCarthy told Raju before criticizing the eight Republicans who voted for his removal.

“This country is too great to have such small ideas like these eight have… I don’t believe them to be conservatives. It’s driven by Gaetz, and it was all based upon an ethics complaint that happened in the last Congress. He would throw his country away to try to protect himself for what would come out as the truth.”

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McCarthy also accused Gaetz of using the motion to vacate to quash an ethics probe he faced.

“If the Ethics Committee never does anything to Gaetz, then Gaetz was successful in stopping probably what rightfully should come to him,” McCarthy said. While the California Congressman reiterated his calls for Gaetz to face “consequences,” there is no indicator that will happen.

McCarthy’s successor, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, has shown no signs of pursuing the ethics complaint against Gaetz.

“That’s a question for Speaker Johnson,” McCarthy told Raju. “I don’t know if they made any deals for the vote or anything like that. I don’t believe so. But I will let Ethics do their work.”

While Johnson’s office reportedly declined to comment to CNN, the network host said that Gaetz offered a simple retort,

“Thoughts and prayers to the former Speaker as he works through his grief,”

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During the interview, McCarthy also revealed that Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had deceived him.

“Before I was elected, I was still having problems with getting the votes, which she did as well. And I told her the issue was bringing back this motion to vacate. And the first thing she said: ‘Just give it to them. Just give it to them. We’d never allow that. It’s not good for the House,’” McCarthy said.

“Look, at the end of the day, the Democrats decided to make a political decision,” he added.

Despite his misgivings, McCarthy said he will continue his work in Congress for now and pledged his support for Speaker Johnson. On Thursday, he indicated that he would attend an event with Johnson, “I’m going to do everything I can to introduce him to people … because it’s for the conference and the country itself.”

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