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Matt Gaetz: Kevin McCarthy is Not the Right Leader for the Moment

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The administration is aiding and abetting an invasion of the Southern border. Our rights are being stripped away. We are at war and the enemy is within.

In response to this existential threat, we’re told that we need to entrust a congressman previously recognized as the “tech industry’s best friend” as our leader.

That’s boneheaded. Kevin McCarthy is not the right leader for the moment. Fortunately, enough Republicans recognize that to stop him from being the next Speaker of the House. Five House Republicans, including myself, have announced that we will not vote for McCarthy during the January 3rd speaker election. Many have privately also informed McCarthy of their plans to vote for someone else.

McCarthy’s allies are fretting and are pushing out a false narrative that opposition to the Paul Ryan endorsed McCarthy will embolden Democrats to elect a squish Republican as Speaker. It turns out that spin is right, just not the way the McCarthy camp sold it.

Semafor is reporting that “Leader-designate Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. waved off the suggestion Democrats would help elect an alternative for speaker, while Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. all but volunteered Democrats’ support to help get McCarthy over the threshold of votes needed for speaker.”

This is the uniparty in action and should let you know that McCarthy is not a threat to the system destroying America. How could he be? His closest adviser has represented Pfizer, Amazon, and a firm dedicated to giving out a path to American citizenship to wealthy Chinese. His roommate counts Google among his clients.

This is the moment for a fight and McCarthy’s instinct is flight. In the days after January 6, McCarthy asked in a call with Liz Cheney whether Twitter can take away Conservative Congressman Barry Moore’s Twitter account because Rep. Moore pointed out that the shooting of Ashli Babbit doesn’t fit the left’s narrative of January 6.

McCarthy, likewise, said I was endangering the safety of Rep. Cheney by criticizing her.

The defense of McCarthy is that he isn’t an ideologue. He just wants to get along, they say, and moves with the times.

Rep. Matt Rosendale, one of the five Republicans standing athwart McCarthy, put it well when he said, “We don’t need a weatherman, we need a leader.” A leader would stand up to the Biden administration’s demands to send tens of billions of dollars to protect Ukraine’s border instead of ours.

A leader wouldn’t wait until thousands of military service members have been kicked out due to a mandate to end it. That’s the problem with living with Frank Luntz and making all of your decisions based on polling data. You will always be late.

But enough about Rep. McCarthy, now is the time for conservatives to come to terms with the fact that the Speakership is up for grabs. Five Republicans are enough to stop Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker.

In order to avoid chaos on January 3rd, Republicans need to embrace reality.

Rep. Andy Biggs has thrown his hat into the ring. He is a true conservative and would be a much better choice than McCarthy. I recognize, though, that five House Republicans might step up and say that they won’t vote for Biggs under any circumstances.

There are likely dozens or even hundreds of House Republicans that I would love to support as Speaker. It’s time for them to prove their case. McCarthy has lost his.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., represents the 1st Congressional District of Florida. He is a member of the 117th Congress currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. This article was originally published by RealClearFlorida and made available via RealClearWire.


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