- Rep. Kevin McCarthy said his impeachment was selfishly motivated by Matt Gaetz to achieve his goal of being a ‘TV congressman’
- The former chairman told CNN that Gaetz is only ‘focused on himself’
- Gaetz filed a motion last month to remove McCarthy as speaker of the House of Representatives
Kevin McCarthy accused fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) of launching his resignation as speaker of the House of Representatives in an effort to become a “TV congressman” by gaining more air time.
Gaetz filed a motion to vacate, which was ultimately successful in early October by Rep. McCarthy (California) of the gavel. This led to weeks of drama-filled elections for the new leader of the House of Representatives.
Ultimately, Rep. Mike Johnson was elected after several others failed in their bids.
Gaetz insists his motion was motivated by the fact that McCarthy “toiled” for Democrats during negotiations to prevent a government shutdown. He claims that McCarthy has not kept his promises as chairman.
Speaking to CNN’s Manu Raju, McCarthy responds that the real reason is that Gaetz was only thinking of himself.
“Matt’s goal was to become a TV congressman,” McCarthy said in the pre-recorded interview.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy said his firing as chairman by fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz was all a selfish act by his colleague to achieve his goal of becoming a “TV congressman”
He insisted that the Florida congressman himself said he wanted to “be known as ‘the TV congressman.’
“I think Congress is too important and the issues are too big to focus on such small things that Matt is trying to do,” the Republican congressman added. “It’s more divisive — and self-centered.”
More of McCarthy’s interview will air Sunday morning on CNN’s Inside Politics.
Raju said that when Gaetz was reached for response to McCarthy’s comments, he said only, “Thoughts and prayers for the former chairman as he processes his grief.”
McCarthy was demoted from the most powerful Republican in Washington to a regular member of Congress in a matter of minutes. It came after eight members of his own party voted him out on October 3.
Along with Gaetz, Donald Trump’s ally, the others who voted McCarthy out of his chairman’s post were Reps. Andy Biggs and Eli Crane of Arizona, Ken Buck (Colo.), Tim Burchett (Tenn.), Bob Good (Va.), Nancy Mane (SC) and Matt Rosendale (Mon.).
McCarthy initially needed 15 votes to become chairman when Republicans gained a narrow majority in the House after the 2022 midterm elections.
Part of his negotiations to become speaker included McCarthy agreeing that a single member of the party could make a motion to remove him from the top congressional post.
McCarthy said Gaetz himself admitted that his ultimate goal as a U.S. representative was to become a “TV congressman”