45th President Donald Trump praised the rebels who held out against the nomination of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, saying they were “just fed up.”
Kevin McCarthy was elected to Speaker of the House last week, after a record-breaking 15 rounds of voting on the House floor, making it the longest Speaker election since 1856. At one point, 20 Republican rebels were voting against McCarthy, with one abstainer. Prominent rebels included Reps. Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Paul Gosar.
Speaking to a crowd at his Mar-a-Lago home over the weekend, Trump, who had initially warned Republicans voting against McCarthy that they risked turning “A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT,” instead said that he wanted to “give credit to Matt Gaetz and all the people that we dealt with.”
President Trump weighs in on House Speaker vote ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/H0xHhrC43q
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) January 4, 2023
“They were just fed up,” Trump said. “All of them [are] good people, [and] they had just had enough,” he added. Trump did not elaborate on what specifically about McCarthy or the GOP establishment they were “just fed up” with.
As he noted in a later Truth Social post, he said that the rebels had done the Republican Party a “tremendous service,” making the process of choosing the Speaker more important. “I believe the Republican Party is much stronger now and much more unified because of what took place,” he said.
“I really believe that that four days of trauma has made the Republican Party a much stronger party, a much better party,” he added. According to media reports,Trump was instrumental in getting the final few rebels to get behind McCarthy, placing calls to them while on the House floor, and helping make deals behind the scenes.
Confirming Trump spoke with Biggs and Gaetz on the phone… https://t.co/J0o2eWzXnG
— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) January 7, 2023
It was the perfect phone call. pic.twitter.com/aRpf5pefoU
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) January 7, 2023
Trump said that he thought McCarthy was already doing a “terrific job,” and that he was “really bolstered” by the drawn-out election. “To Kevin I give a special congratulations, cause you have to say one thing, he doesn’t give up, cause a lot of people would have left three days ago,” Trump quipped. “He had to sit through 15 or 16 of those deals, and it could not have been easy.”