Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

On a Twitter Space discussion Wednesday night, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) gave details of the negotiations underway to determine the Speaker of the House. During the discussion, he blasted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and said that “there is blood in the water” for the competition for the Speakership.

“The Republican Party right now is in need of change,” Gaetz began. “And Washington is in need of change and McCarthy kind of embodies a lot of the things that are the worst features of Washington and the worst features of the Republican Party.”

“So I am in the Lauren Boebert camp. If we can’t wake this guy up every day and put him in a straight jacket right after the prayer of the pledge where basically he is a disembodied portrait, we can’t trust him around actual power because we know what he does with it: he sells it,” he explained. “To the lobbyists and the special interests for money that he then redistributes. It is a crazy game that you almost never actually want to win.”

When asked whether anyone wants to be Speaker, Gaetz stated, “Nah man there is blood in the water. I had people from three different camps reach out to me. ‘What do you think about this person? What do you think about that person?’ Here’s the problem, the most frequent question I get asked is ‘what’s the plan? How does it end? Who’s next? Who do we ultimately end up with? We’ve seen you guys go from Biggs to Jordan to Donalds.'”

“But at the end of the day, it is hyper sequential. The first thing you have to show the McCarthy people is that even though there are more than them, we are willing to longer and forever to stop this guy from getting the gavel and we have to break their will,” the Florida congressman said. “And my bet is that the crew that I’m rolling with, which is probably isn’t all 20 that voted against McCarthy, I didn’t think we had 20 votes against McCarthy, I thought we had maybe a dozen.”


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“I have to figure out who are the folks that are ready to say in the greatest country in the world, in a time of peril, in a world where the only Republican no to power is the House of Representatives,” Rep. Gaetz stated, adding, “do we really want to trust this guy under any terms. Maybe there are terms that reduce Kevin McCarthy to a portrait on a wall and a side note in history, but we haven’t found it yet.”

Gaetz was then asked about the multiple camps forming within the McCarthy camp and explained that “Among the people that are voting for Kevin, there are some true believers. There are some who say that the reason why they cannot allow Kevin to be disposed of is because they are from districts that require extensive resources for reelection. If you take a guy, as much as I am not a McCarthy fan, the guy has absolutly been the Lebron James of special interest fundraising.”

“So if you have somebody who is fundraising like he is there are just some folks who say ‘you know what, that is an end unto itself.’ If you basically send the message that you can go out there and fundraise for four years and you’ll get knifed then nobody will want to do that anymore,” he explained. “So there are people who hold that perspective in the pro-Kevin camp and then there are people who are like ‘you know what I’m pro-Kevin until you all prove that he ain’t going to win and the moment he ain’t going to win, I’m jumping.'”

“And you kinda saw Victoria Spartz as the leading indicator of that wave. Somebody who voted for McCarthy multiple times who, once she saw the resolve of the opposition, she was unwilling to lend him support today. It was a big momentum boost for us,” Gaetz continued. “So then if you go to the anti-McCarthy camp, I think you have two groups. One group that says so long as we can put any Speaker in a straight jacket we will take him and we are willing to withhold  our support for McCarthy because he hasn’t yet agreed to enter the straight jacket. And then there are others who say ‘well you know it doesn’t really matter what he is willing to offer or pledge because at the end of the day, we have to send somebody in to negotiate with Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden, and if we do that, we’re toast.”

With the seventh vote taking place on Thursday, it is becoming clear that McCarthy has been unable to convince Gaetz and some of the other lawmakers in opposition to McCarthy.

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