(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Florida Representative Matt Gaetz has spent the past few months raising his stature through a number of means. While taking the expected route of exposure by becoming a regular fixture on the cable news circuit – specifically guesting with Tucker Carlson on the regular — he has taken other steps.
During the House meetings where they were taking testimony from witnesses for the impeachment inquiry, he held a presser in the chambers and then led Republicans to storm the hearing. Following Nancy Pelosi’s sophomoric stunt of ripping the State of the Union speech papers, Gaetz files a House ethics complaint against the Speaker. He also made a noteworthy appearance recently on The View where he managed the extremely rare accomplishment of quieting the shrews attempting to entrap him with baiting questions.
At today’s CPAC conference, Gaetz came out to deliver a monologue that had a very distinct feel to it. Departing somewhat from the expected firebrand lecture, Gaetz took the stage and delivered what could have easily been interpreted as a campaign speech.
At first, he opened in his normal combative style. He quoted a number of news outlets which had painted him as a devout supporter of President Trump, and he did not back down from those designations. He then made the segue into some boilerplate party position talk, describing the political stance of Republicans as, ”We don’t fear the political correctness police or the cancel culture.’’ But then he made a notable shift.
The bulk of his speech then went on to boldly describe how he would no longer cow to special interests, and in particular, would not take any political donations from Political Action Committees. He went into great detail on the matter, describing how there are many Republicans willing to say they will forego taking money from federal PACs, but gladly take in donations from private PACs.
His declarations of not wanting to do the bidding of special interests, and instead do the work on behalf of the American people, sounded like someone on the campaign trail. The concept of a politician declaring they will no longer Hoover up the dollars is a bit unique, but he also might have tipped his hand as to what is behind it. He opened the segment about PAC money by saying in the past he had ‘’Catfished’’ these groups, taking their money but not doing their bidding.
If accurate, that could be an indication of groups no longer willing to fork over checks to a politician who may be working against their best intentions. It could come across as noble to say you will not be swayed by outside cash, even if that decision had been made already for him. The other possibility is that Gaetz was adorning himself in the guise of a politician for the people, working for the interests of voters, not special interests.
Considering the way he proudly draped himself with the cloak of President Trump his words sounding like those of a man on the primary trail could be his way of introducing himself as the follow up to a second term of President Trump. He closed his delivery by invoking the President and saying, ‘’The best is yet to come.’’ It would not be a stretch to suggest his words were actually indicating his position himself as the heir apparent to the White House.