Gaetz, who openly sparred with McCarthy in January during the California congressman’s lengthy journey to the gavel, criticized him on Tuesday for working with Democrats on avoiding a government shutdown, among other issues.
“This is a guy who was willing to partner with conservatives on the frivolous, but whenever there was a spending matter, he partnered with Democrats,” Gaetz said on The Ingraham Angle, which was showing a live feed from the House in anticipation of comments from McCarthy.
“That said, Speaker McCarthy’s time is over. I wish him well. I have no personal animus to him. I hope he finds fruitful pastures, and I’m certain he will,” Gaetz said.
“But we’ve got a job to do here. This is about…keeping the commitment to have single-subject spending bills,” Gaetz continued, though host Laura Ingraham seemed skeptical that Gaetz could muster the support to do so.
“I’ve been doing this—with all due respect—for decades longer than you, okay? You’re a young guy,” Ingraham told Gaetz, who is 19 years her junior. “Continuing resolutions, the budget, the spending: it’s a total nightmare. But the fact of the matter is y’all don’t have the votes. You don’t have the margin to get from A to B to C.”
After Gaetz denied this, the Fox host pressed him on how he can achieve his legislative goals even with a Democratic-controlled Senate.
“You still have that to contend with. So how do you get to your nirvana points which are the conservative holy grail points of governance the way we are going?”
After Gaetz got one sentence out—”The Senate does not control how the House approaches its business”—Ingraham cut him off so that Fox viewers could hear what McCarthy, now at the podium, had to say.
After twenty minutes, Ingraham asked Gaetz about McCarthy’s claim that the Florida congressman has a “personal” grudge against him because he has let a House Ethics Committee investigation into Gaetz’s alleged sexual misconduct and misuse of funds continue.
“Well that’s totally false,” Gaetz answered.
When Ingraham said later that she’s “not saying there’s anything wrong with being mad” about McCarthy declining to intervene in the investigation, Gaetz gave an unambiguous response.
“I’m not,” he said.