McCarthy Says Gaetz Has a ‘Crazy Mind’ Then Compares Himself to Lincoln
Former U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has just days remaining before his mid-term retirement from Congress, but he isn’t letting go of his grudge against Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Shortly after giving his final speech on the floor of the House on Thursday, McCarthy ducked into his Capitol hideaway office for an interview with several reporters, where he offered some parting thoughts ahead of his planned resignation later this month.
More than two months after Matt Gaetz led the ouster to remove McCarthy from the House’s top job, the ex-Speaker appeared as frustrated as ever. In an interview published by The Hill, McCarthy recounted his testy relationship with the Florida Republican,
“He was psychotic… People study that type of crazy mind, right? Mainly the FBI,”
McCarthy claimed that Gaetz only motioned to vacate as revenge for the Ethics Committee opening an investigation into him–something that Gaetz has vehemently denied.
The Florida Congressman said in a statement to the outlet,
“Thoughts and prayers for the former congressman,
We had a process. He was removed. He then chose to take his ball and go home, reducing our majority. Kevin’s premature departure shows it was only ever about personal power to him.”
.@SpeakerMcCarthy: "I will be departing, but that doesn't mean I'll stop serving…I think putting people before politics is always the right answer…I thank this nation for creating a body that is represented by the people. I think we should rise to the occasion one more time." pic.twitter.com/BJJhOnNY8Q
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 14, 2023
Asked why he waited two months to announce his resignation, McCarthy told The Hill that he wanted to avoid making any “emotional decisions.”
“I took a lot of time with it, right. Because I love the job, I loved every minute of it, good or bad…
Before I made my final decision … I went to conference that week to see, make sure if my decision was right. Spent a few moments in conference, kind of sealed it,”
But while McCarthy prepares to exit Congress in the coming weeks, he says he isn’t retreating from politics entirely. He even suggested taking a role in a future Trump White House, telling reporters, “Yes. I believe in public service.”
According to the Daily Mail, at this point, McCarthy launched into a “diatribe” about Abraham Lincoln’s “many failures” before becoming President, drawing a comparison with himself.
Kevin McCarthy: “When you look at the Democrats, they actually look like America. When I look at my party, we look like the most restrictive country club in America.” pic.twitter.com/UFJTmTY75c
— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) December 7, 2023
McCarthy suggested that he would try to even the score with the eight Republicans who voted to oust him, telling The Hill that he planned to put his fundraising skills to good use after leaving Congress.
“I’ve got a good chunk of money. I’ve got probably the best fundraising team out there,” McCarthy told the outlet. “I’m going to keep doing good recruiting, good at helping them. I’m just going to do that from the outside.”
“I’m gonna raise a lot more money. I want to find conservatives who want to govern. Chaos doesn’t help us. And so, people who are willing to govern, I’m willing to help,” McCarthy said.
Asked about his successor Mike Johnson, McCarthy said he felt the new speaker was “doing a good job.”
“This is very difficult to what he’s put in… Let’s be fair to Mike, right. Mike hasn’t been the majority leader, he hasn’t been the minority leader, he didn’t get to build up to be Speaker, he’s thrown in the middle while we’re in the middle of the fight, right. That’s a tough place to be in.”
“My advice would be if he asked me for it: Do not be afraid of a motion to vacate,” McCarthy said. “They cannot do it.”
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