Kevin McCarthy Says Matt Gaetz Is “Not a Conservative”

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( – Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hasn’t been speaker of the House for over a month, but the loss is still apparently fresh in his mind. He recently spoke out about the matter in an exclusive interview with CNN, adding new fuel to the fire by claiming Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the rival colleague responsible for his ousting, isn’t even really a Conservative.

McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju during their November 9 interview that he had particular concerns about not only Gaetz, but also Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Nancy Mace (R-SC). He said the GOP would benefit “tremendously” if Gaetz — his main focus — was no longer a member of the House, adding that congressional seats needed to be earned. The California lawmaker said Gaetz’s philosophy is far from conservative, a fact he claims even his bitter rival will admit, adding that the junior lawmaker places his priorities in all the wrong areas.

Raju asked McCarthy if he thought Gaetz should be expelled for his fateful move, and the lawmaker hedged a direct answer by insisting it would be up to the House. The former speaker qualified his response by noting he believed the chamber wouldn’t be able to heal until the Florida representative answered for his actions.

McCarthy told Raju that Burchett and Mace both seemed to vote “out of nature,” noting that both have changed over the course of their terms and seem to care more about gaining press attention than making good policies. He called out Mace for “flip-flopping” and said he didn’t think she would win re-election.

Gaetz responded to McCarthy’s interview on a recent airing of his podcast “Firebrand” and shared the highlights on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. He addressed McCarthy personally at one point, offering the former speaker “thoughts and prayers.” He added that his California colleague might find peace in the House’s decision if he embraced prayer instead of mocking it. Gaetz also reportedly stated that if McCarthy wanted to try to remove him, he should “bring the effing motion,” a likely nod back to McCarthy’s challenge to Gaetz. It turns out Gaetz did just that.

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