United States Representative Matt Gaetz’ (R-FL) reputation among his Republican colleagues plummeted when he successfully campaigned to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in September.
Since the California lawmaker’s removal, the GOP has struggled to pass any legislation, and has been deemed the the most “unproductive” Congress in 50 years.
Politico’s Deputy Managing Editor Sam Stein reports during a Sunday, January 21 Keene, New Hampshire appearance, Gaetz criticized House Republicans, saying, “They think I’m the crazy one and I think they’re the crazy ones.”
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According to Stein’s Monday, January 22 report, MAGA voters agree with the Sunshine State leader’s sentiment. “It’s a little bit of crazy but the right kind of crazy,” Troy, New Hampshire resident Bill Mitchell told the Politico editor. “He does what he said he was going to do. And Trump did what he said he was going to do.”
At one of former President Donald Trump’s recent New Hampshire events, Stein notes “attendees say they view Gaetz not so much as a surrogate for the campaign but as an heir to the Trump movement,” and they emphasize “it is his political approach that reminds them of the former president. It’s precisely because he gets heckled that they love him.”
Sonopeake, New Hampshire resident Peter Salvitti told Stein he loves Gaetz because “he’s got chutzpah!” Another woman added, “The way he looks at you without blinking, you know he is never going to back down. It’s like a hawkeye.”
Stein notes the the GOP leader has also been confronted by those who are not so much fans of his, particularly during a Sunday event at Trump’s Manchester, New Hampshire headquarters.
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“What’s the youngest school girl you’ve been with?” one “heckler” who was eventually removed asked Gaetz, referencing the ethics investigation against him for sex trafficking allegations.
According to Stein, the MAGA congressman “waited for the boos to subside. Then, like an AI bot programmed for the general election, he ridiculed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their age and gender.”
“Think about being a part of a party where they haven’t even tried to make an argument about winning your vote,” Gaetz replied. “The Democratic Party today has basically put up as their candidate a nursing home escapee and the annoying lady from the HR department.”
Despite sparking GOP chaos in the House, and facing a probe for sex trafficking accusations, Stein emphasizes, “Several attendees at the event said they could very easily see themselves voting for Gaetz if he were to run for president. He was, they argued, Trumpism personified; or, at least, attitudinally and temperamentally as close to the personification as someone not named Trump could be.”
Politico’s full report is available at this link.
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