Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who represented the state of Georgia, on Tuesday evening, suggested those Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were “traitors” and said they should all face primary challenges next year.
Gingrich, who served as the 50th speaker from just 1995 to 1999, told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, “Ninety-six percent of the Republicans voted for McCarthy, four percent voted against him. From my position as a longtime Republican activist, they’re traitors. All eight of them should in fact, be primaried. They should all be driven out of public life.”
The former speaker added that the eight Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, had essentially done the job for the Democrats of seeing McCarthy’s removal, and accused them of creating “total chaos.”
“We ought to be focusing on Biden, we ought to be focusing on the economy, we ought to be focusing on the border,” Gingrich also said Tuesday. “Instead, you’re going to get a week or 10 days of the media focusing on Republican disarray,” and added, “It’s an astonishingly destructive behavior by a handful of egocentric people who think they’re superior to 96 percent of the conference.”
Called to Expel Gaetz
Gingrich, who was named 1995’s “Man of the Year” by Time magazine for ending the four-decades –long Democratic majority in the House, further expressed that Gaetz shouldn’t just face a serious primary challenge. Gingrich said Gaetz should be immediately removed from the House of Representatives.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post that was published on Tuesday, the former speaker called for GOP lawmakers to expel Gaetz over his “childish behavior,” while further suggesting the Florida congressman had “become actively destructive to the conservative movement.”
Gingrich noted that it’s “obvious” that Gaetz hates McCarthy, and suggested it would be fine if he were just a “loudmouthed junior member.”
“Gaetz’s motion to remove McCarthy should be swiftly defeated, and then he should be expelled from the House Republican Conference. House Republicans have far more important things to do than entertain one member’s ego,” Gingrich wrote. “Gaetz has gone beyond regular drama. He is destroying the House GOP’s ability to govern and draw a sharp contrast with the policy disasters of the Biden administration.”
The former speaker also made clear that he believed Gaetz was violating the House Republican Conference rule that states the motion to vacate “should only be available with the agreement of the Republican Conference so as to not allow Democrats to choose the Speaker.”
Gingrich concluded by noting that while he had engaged in his own battle with the GOP establishment, which included a fight with then-President George H.W. Bush over the 1990 tax increase, he did not go against the greater Republican Party in the House.
“Unlike Gaetz, though, when I rebelled, I represented the majority view of the caucus at the time,” Gingrich added. “Gaetz’s motion to remove McCarthy should have been swiftly defeated, but it wasn’t; he should still be expelled from the House Republican Conference. House Republicans have far more important things to do than entertain one member’s ego.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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