Reps. Matt Gaetz and Mike Rodgers, both Republicans, were involved in an altercation when tensions in the GOP House Caucus reached a boiling point on Friday night, with Rep. Rodgers’ colleagues having to hold him back as he lunged at Gaetz, one of the GOP holdouts that delayed Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s Speaker of the House bid.
Now, new details about the incident have emerged. Particularly, it appears that Rep. Rodgers was threatening to end political careers when he lunged at Rep. Gaetz, with one of the Representatives between Rodgers and Gaetz during the attack saying that he shouldn’t be drunk on the House floor and saying that he could have dropped Rodgers “like a bag of dirt.”
Those details come from Kate Sullivan, a CNN journalist. She posted about it on Twitter, saying, in a Twitter thread:
Tim Burchett, who was in between Matt Gaetz and Mike Rogers during their confrontation on the House floor, tells me Rogers was making threats about ending careers.
“People shouldn’t be drinking, especially when you’re a redneck, on the House floor,” Burchett said.
“I would drop him like a bag of dirt,” Burchett said of Rogers. “Nobody’s gonna put their hands on me. Nobody’s gonna threaten me.”
“It’s just one of those things — you’ve been around fights before, you’ve seen it. Some guy gets in your face and then it’s just an unfortunate moment is all it was. It shouldn’t have happened. He shouldn’t have crossed that line,” Burchett said.
Here’s the CSPAN video of the incident, with Rep. McCarthy’s confrontation with Rep. Gaetz turning into Rep. Rodgers attacking Rep. Gaetz:
Kevin McCarthy confronts Matt Gaetz during 14th House Speaker vote. #118thCongress pic.twitter.com/nMa9bm0KSN
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 7, 2023
In the video, Rep. McCarthy could be heard saying “We’ll do it again” after Gaetz had voted against him from becoming Speaker instead of abstaining, costing McCarthy the Speaker’s gavel by one vote and raising tensions in an already angry and stressed House. That frustration was apparently what led Rep. Rogers to attack Rep. Gaetz, with Rep. Hudson then grabbing Rep. Rodgers by the face to stop the attack.
Sarah Reese Jones, commenting on what happened in the video, said “C-SPAN provides fantastic camera angles that show McCarthy making a beeline for Gaetz after the vote, the two having a heated conversation that involved finger-pointing, and McCarthy walking away overheard saying, “We’ll do it again.“‘
Politicus USA, reporting on tensions in the House at the time, reported that:
At some point, McCarthy’s supporters are going to crack and get tired of the endless votes that go nowhere. How many more times is Kevin McCarthy going to be allowed to fail before House Republicans pull the plug?
They thought it was over. Now they are stuck in the House for at least one more vote. It is being reported that Gaetz wants to adjourn until Monday, but if Kevin McCarthy doesn’t get this done tonight, it is fair to suspect that it will never happen.
The House is bordering on violence, as everyone appears to be at the end of their rope.
Alejandra Caraballo of Slate and Wired tweeted out the video as well, saying “Rep. Hudson grabbed Rep. Mike Rogers by the face after he confronted Matt Gaetz. This happened right after Kevin McCarty Kevin McCarthy also confronted Matt Gaetz. First physical altercation on the floor of the House sknce 1985. Complete meltdown.”
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