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Matt Gaetz applauds the election of Mike Johnson as House speaker

The means of choosing a brand new U.S. House speaker after Kevin McCarthy was forced out by a bunch of hard-right Republicans led by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has been messy and chaotic, raising questions on the GOP’s ability to manipulate.

For Gaetz, though, the eventual ascension of ultraconservative Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson to the speakership Wednesday was definitely worth the three-week-long leadership vacuum that plunged the House into turmoil and increased concerns about government dysfunction.

“If you happen to don’t think that moving from Kevin McCarthy to MAGA Mike Johnson shows the ascendance of this movement and where the ability within the Republican Party truly lies, then you definitely’re not being attentive,” Gaetz said on Steve Bannon’s show.

Johnson is an ardent social conservative who opposes abortion rights and gay marriage and was deeply involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Such issues have been a drag on Republicans, likely stopping a red wave in 2022.

Yet for Gaetz, the political calculation could also be different. He’s widely considered a possible candidate for Florida governor in 2026.

Installing a more conservative House speaker could increase Gaetz’s stature with grassroots Republicans in a celebration that has moved to the suitable under former President Donald Trump. That might help him in what is anticipated to be a crowded GOP primary for governor.

Look ahead:While DeSantis struggles along with his run for president, who’s next for Florida governor?

Gaetz shared a Wall Street Journal article on X Wednesday headlined: “Matt Gaetz sees vindication in a Mike Johnson win.”

“I consider history will assess these three weeks as the most efficient weeks of the 118th Congress,” Gaetz told the Journal.

Gaetz also shared a “Matt Gaetz Apology Form” that was originally posted by a right-wing X user, apparently as a joke.

The shape ends by asking people to pledge that “I’ll hereby respect Matt Gaetz and I’ll NOT talk down on the long run forty seventh governor of Florida.”

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