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Ongoing Rivalry Between Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz: He ‘Belongs in Jail’

The ongoing feud between former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Matt Gaetz reached new heights this week as the two engaged in a war of words during separate media interviews. The focus of these interviews revolved around the divisions within the Florida congressional delegation.

When asked about the House’s Florida Republicans, McCarthy told Politico, “You have Gaetz, who belongs in jail, and you have serious members.” McCarthy’s comment seemed to reference the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and misuse of funds against Gaetz.

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In response, Gaetz fired back at McCarthy, stating, “Those are tough words from a guy who sucker punches people in the back.” Gaetz referred to recent allegations that McCarthy assaulted Rep. Tim Burchett by elbowing him in the kidneys. Gaetz added, “The only assault I committed was against Kevin’s fragile ego.”

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The relationship between the two has never been amicable. It further deteriorated when Gaetz filed a motion to remove McCarthy as House speaker in October, leading to a vote that ultimately succeeded in ousting McCarthy. Throughout the process of selecting a new House speaker, McCarthy consistently criticized Gaetz, and the role ultimately fell to House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Credit: DepositPhotos

Gaetz and Burchett were among the eight Republicans who voted alongside Democrats to remove McCarthy. Following the alleged assault on Burchett, Gaetz called for a House ethics investigation into McCarthy on November 14.

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McCarthy denied any intent behind the incident, but Burchett saw it differently, calling it a deliberate “cheap shot” from a bully. The tension between McCarthy and Gaetz continues to escalate, with no end in sight for their fierce rivalry.

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