Rep. Jim Jordan vows to stay in speaker race

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Rep. Matt Gaetz leaves a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Thursday. Alex Brandon/AP

Amid the ongoing chaos in the speaker-less House, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz defended his decision to lead the effort to oust Kevin McCarthy from his speakership but did not articulate what he got out of it besides removing the California Republican from the position. 

“We’re shaking up Washington, DC. We’re breaking the fever. And, you know what, it’s messy. But the only reason people think there’s chaos in this town right now is because the special interests aren’t in control any more. I think we’re going to have an upgrade on the position of speaker of the House,” Gaetz told CNN. 

He added: “This is what it’s supposed to be: It’s not clean, it’s not orderly.” 

When pressed by CNN that the current paralysis in the chamber means that members can’t legislate, Gaetz said: “There’s a lot of legislation we shouldn’t be considering that this may be blocking. So I wasn’t too thrilled with the legislation we were passing in the first place. So I don’t much mind taking a few days to ensure that we’ve got someone in the position with broader credibility than Kevin McCarthy had.” 

Gaetz also addressed reports that McCarthy had yelled at him during a House GOP conference meeting earlier today and that Illinois Rep. Mike Bost then cursed at him.

“I’m a lawyer, not a baker, so I don’t get too emotional about the presentation of arguments and how we ought to consider things. But we got some folks here who have a different view. I don’t think too much of it,” the Florida Republican said. 

Gaetz also called Bost a “fine gentleman” who sometimes gets emotional but noted that he had apologized.


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