Rep. Matt Gaetz says he is talking to Donald Trump about making him SPEAKER if Republicans win back the House in next year’s midterm elections
- Trump loyalists have floated the idea of installing Trump as House Speaker
- It is one of the most powerful positions in the country and second in line to the presidency – after only the vice president
- On Tuesday, Rep Gaetz said he had spoken to Trump about taking on the role
- The former president has said in the past it was an ‘interesting idea’
- Skeptics wonder if it just a ploy to troll Democrats and raise money
The idea has been floated by a certain brand of Republican for months, possibly as a joke or a fundraising ploy or a way to juice turnout in the 2022 elections.
But during a press conference, Gaetz went a step further.
He was asked by a reporter whether he wanted to see the former president as speaker.
‘I would,’ he answered.
And has he spoken to Trump about it?
‘I have,’ he said with a grin, before declining to say more.
‘I keep my conversations with the former president between the two of us.’
Rep. Matt Gaetz has floated the idea of Speaker Trump in the past and on Tuesday said he had spoken to the former president about it
Trump said it was an ‘interesting’ idea when asked earlier this year whether he was interested in becoming House speaker, although skeptics see the suggestion as a way to troll Democrats
It is not the first time that Gaetz has raised the idea of turning the House over to Trump.
In July, at a Trump rally in Sarasota, Florida, he said: ‘After the next election cycle when we take back the House of Representatives, when we send Nancy Pelosi back to the filth of San Francisco, my commitment to you is that my vote for speaker of the US House of Representatives will go to Donald J. Trump.’
Republicans are in pole position to win back the House. They need to take just five seats from a Democratic party that controls the House, the Senate and the White House – a recipe for voters turning against them in the midterms.
Under normal circumstances, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy might expect to be elevated to the role.
But he has been under intense criticism from Trump loyalists, who believe he has not been loyal enough.
He said in the past that Trump bore some responsibility for the Jan. 6 violence.
And his enemies want him to punish Republicans who backed the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Last month, former Trump White House Chief of Staff blasted party leadership on Gaetz’s podcast.
‘They’re not skating to where the puck is. And so I would give them a grade of a ‘D,” he said.
‘I believe that on this tactic and strategy – listen, you need to make Democrats take tough votes. You need to make sure that when you’ve got them on the ropes that you don’t throw in the white towel.’
So who might do the job?
‘I would love to see the gavel go from Nancy Pelosi to Donald Trump,’ he said during a separate appearance on Steve Bannon’s podcast.
‘You talk about melting down, people would go crazy.’
Trump, never one to miss stirring the pot, suggested he was in favor during an interview with conservative radio talk-show host Wayne Allyn Root in June.
Root asked: ‘Why not, instead of just waiting for 2024 – and I’m hoping you run in 2024 – but why not run in 2022 for the United States Congress, a House seat in Florida, win big, lead us to a dramatic landslide victory, taking the House by 50 seats, and then you become the speaker of the House?’
‘You know, it’s very interesting,’ replied Trump. ‘That’s so interesting.
‘And people have said, run for the Senate, OK, run for the Senate, but you know what?
‘Your idea might be better.’
Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of running for president in 2024 although aides say no decision is likely until after the midterms next year, when he can assess the political currents.