Rep. Gaetz Ignores Johnson Plea to Stop Attacking Fellow Republicans

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 19, 2024

This week, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) issued an order to the caucus to stop attacking each other.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), however, has other ideas, brushing off the request by the new Speaker of the House.

Talking Points…
- Plea by Speaker Johnson
- Gaetz brushes off Johnson
- Analysis

Speaker Johnson Tells Caucus to Cool It

Attacks from within the GOP against other Republicans have been nonstop this year. While this has always been the case during primary season, it has really gotten out of control in the House with the friction between House moderates, the establishment, and MAGA. Johnson is trying to get a handle on it, but it is not working.

Johnson told the media this weekend that he wants his House members to “cool it.” He stated:

“I’ve asked them all to cool it. I am vehemently opposed to member-on-member action in primaries because it’s not productive. And it causes division for obvious reasons, and we should not be engaging in that.

“So I’m telling everyone who’s doing that to knock it off. And both sides, they’ll say, ‘Well, we didn’t start it, they started it.’”

If you think it sounds like he is talking to a bunch of children, that is pretty much what Congress has become over the last decade: spoiled, petulant children stomping their feet when they do not get their way, with Rep. Matt Gaetz leading the way.

Gaetz Brushes Off Plea from Johnson

Gaetz made it clear that regardless of what Johnson wanted if he did not like what some Republicans were doing, he would call them out publicly. To that point, he stated:

“I would love nothing more than to just go after Democrats.

“But if Republicans are going to dress up like Democrats in drag, I’m going to go after them too. Because, at the end of the day, we’re not judged by how many Republicans we have in Congress. We’re judged on whether or not we save the country.”

Gaetz then spouted off to CNN about his next target…

Leadership is also upset regarding members campaigning against incumbents in other districts. The position of the RNC and other leadership committees has always been to support the incumbent, but even that appears to have gone out the window with the Trump campaign now taking over the Republican National Committee.

Analysis

The GOP is in complete and utter turmoil right now, and I don’t really see that smoothing out very much with the RNC being folded into Trump’s presidential campaign. With Lara Trump now a power player in the RNC, expect to see candidates who are not falling in line with Trump get primaried hard and attacked by the Freedom Caucus.

Trump and his team have made it pretty clear that you are either with them or they will do their best to have you removed, so if Johnson should be talking to anyone, it should be Trump who continues to attack people like Ron DeSantis on the campaign trail, but we all know that will not happen. Like it or not, support Trump or not, party members are not taking their marching orders from Trump and his campaign, so I am not sure how much of an influence Johnson telling people to “cool it” will have in these primary attacks against incumbent Republicans, especially those that are not falling in line with a MAGA agenda. Trump had resistance in his first term, and he is clearly trying to eliminate that if he wins the 2024 election.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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