Gingrich Criticizes Gaetz, Fellow Republicans

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) criticized a group of congressional Republicans, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) for their approach in the GOP majority. The former speaker specifically criticized Gaetz’s conduct surrounding former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was ousted by a group led by Gaetz last year.

Gingrich said in a recent Fox News interview that a number of recent Republican House resignations had their roots in Gaetz’s actions. This included Gaetz’s ouster of McCarthy last year.

“We shouldn’t underestimate how bad what Matt Gaetz did was for the whole system,” he said. “He unleashed the demons. He went after somebody who had raised $480 million, had gained seats for three elections in a row and he drove Kevin McCarthy out of office.

“And from that point on, it has been a disaster,” said Gingrich.

Gingrich said that some members of the House Freedom Caucus led to a “disaster in public policy terms.”

Gaetz has emerged as a key member of the House majority, including in his opposition to recent spending packages.

Following Republican House victories in the 2022 election, the GOP held a narrow majority. McCarthy put himself up for the speakership but was challenged by conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus.

McCarthy was only elected speaker after multiple rounds of balloting, despite support from former President Donald Trump. McCarthy made a number of concessions to receive the votes from the holdouts. This included a measure allowing for one member to file a motion to vacate against the speaker.

The same measure was used to oust McCarthy after he backed a spending bill to keep the government open last year.

After several more rounds of balloting and a failed candidacy of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), current House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) was selected by a majority of the House.

However, Johnson’s support for a $1.2 trillion spending bill led Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to file a motion to vacate against Johnson. She said that the effect may not take place immediately, but served as more of a warning.