Rep. Matt Gaetz ignited the fireworks right out of the gate when he joined the ladies of “The View” and brought up the “death of the political left.”
The Florida Republican sparked a spirited discussion with the liberal hosts on Thursday’s show, covering topics from President Donald Trump to the 2020 Democratic candidates, and even managed to take a jab at the “thin-skinned” critics.
After telling co-host Joy Behar that he watches the show, as “you guys make news every week,” Gaetz jumped right in to stir the nest.
“I was just wondering if you were wearing black as a consequence of, like, the death of the political left in the debate last night,” he said, referring to Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate which included billionaire Michael Bloomberg for the first time.
“Don’t count the dead yet,” Behar responded.
Gaetz went on to comment on the state of former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, noting how he is supposedly “electable” but “can’t seem to win elections.”
“What states is he going to win?” he asked. “So, now you have socialist Bernie Sanders against billionaire Michael Bloomberg.”
Behar shot back saying Republicans “love a billionaire, they love money.”
Gaetz noted that the former New York City mayor actually used to be a Republican before switching parties. He went on to contend that Democrats likely wouldn’t nominate a Democrat.
“They’re either going to nominate a socialist or someone who some time ago was a Republican,” he said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin wondered who the congressman thought would be the Democratic contender who could “beat Trump.”
“None of them,” Gaetz, a vocal Trump supporter, replied and admitted many politicians have been doing some “political square dancing for a while” after being reminded that Trump used to be a Democrat.
When Gaetz began to tout the “raging economy” and the positive impact of the Trump presidency, Behar wondered if he was doing a “stump speech.” She pivoted to ask him about his “boss,” which the lawmaker quickly responded that he worked for the people in his district who elected him.
“Yeah, okay,” Behar replied dismissively.
But Gaetz was not about to let her off the hook, telling her directly, “don’t dismiss them,” as he pointed out that “it’s the highest concentration of active-duty military in the country,” adding that co-host Meghan McCain’s father – the late Sen. John McCain – served there.
“You can attack me if you want, but don’t attack my constituents,” he told Behar.
She moved on to press Gaetz about the president’s decision to nominate “loyalist” Ambassador Richard Grenell to serve as acting director of national intelligence. But her disparaging remark that Germany saw the ambassador as “thin-skinned” only backfired as Gaetz delivered a brutal reality check.
“Well, this is ‘The View,’ aren’t we all?” he asked as Behar denied that was true.
.@RichardGrenell is my friend and a tremendous public servant. His appointment by @realDonaldTrump is historic, making him the first openly gay cabinet member in history. His identity is not a qualification anymore than mine is, but it’s quite significant and makes me proud! ???️? https://t.co/Uq49zTk8D4
— Judd Deere (@JuddPDeere45) February 20, 2020
She continued to try to make the case that Trump surrounds himself with “yes men” claiming he “doesn’t like” it if anyone does not agree with him. Again, Gaetz schooled the very liberal co-host.
“Factually, if you look at the team he’s assembled, with people like John Bolton, the president regularly surrounds himself with people who disagree with him,” the congressman said, going on to defend Grenell’s qualifications and the fact that an openly gay man was appointed by the president to serve on his cabinet.
McCain, who had remained silent throughout the discussion so far, finally jumped in when Gaetz said he felt the president should pardon his longtime ally Roger Stone, who was sentenced Thursday for lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 20, 2020
“Come on, Congressman!” McCain interrupted as Gaetz attempted to spell out why he felt Stone should be pardoned. “He’s the swampiest swamp creature.”
Gaetz took the co-hosts to school over the “original intent” of the Constitution in granting pardon power to the president, and reminded them of the enormous numbers of people who were pardoned by the Clinton and Obama administrations. His attempt to explain the “double standard” in Stone’s case was repeatedly interrupted by the women who seized on trigger words to create drama.
McCain managed to get in a question to Gaetz, actually claiming that she is “a hardcore conservative” before she admitted many of Trump’s policies are great but she has a problem with his “character,” wondering how he could appeal more to “college-educated women” like herself.
Gaetz rounded out the segment with a fiery defense of Trump’s economy, and the boon it has been to women in the workforce, as he called out the “Venezuela wing of the Democratic Party.”
“Oh, come on, the Venezuela wing!” Behar mocked.
“America is in a sense of great renewal,” Gaetz said. “We’ve got a comeback president running against the throwback left.”
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