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‘Canceled man’ Matt Gaetz vows to fight on, restore Trump to WH in ’24: ‘They come for the fighters, don’t they?’

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Rep. Matt Gaetz spoke at a massive “Save America Rally” in Sarasota, Fla., on Saturday ahead of an address by Donald Trump, during which he vowed at various times to help get the former president reelected in 2024 and to vote him Speaker of the House in 2022 if the GOP retakes the chamber.

After being introduced and taking the stage, the Florida Republican appeared to acknowledge a federal probe into an alleged sex trafficking of a minor, which he has vigorously denied and has alternately described as an extortion plot.

“I’m not gonna lie, after the last few months, I needed that,” Gaetz began as the large crowd cheered him onto the stage. “Thank you, Florida!”

“I’m a canceled man in some corners of the Internet, a marked man in Congress, maybe a wanted man by the deep state, but in the core of my bones, I’m a Florida man and it’s good to be home!” he continued.

“They come for the fighters, don’t they?” Gaetz continued. “So I have a message for all who need to hear it: For the country I love, for the president who inspires me, and for the people who send me to fight in Congress, I have not yet begun to fight.”

At another point in his speech, Gaetz pledged to cast his ballot for Trump to become House Speaker, though it’s not at all clear the former president is even interested in the job that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is currently well-positioned for, if the GOP retakes control of the chamber during next year’s midterms.

“After the next election cycle when we take back the House of Representatives, when we send [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi [D-Calif.] back to the filth of San Francisco, my commitment to you is that my vote for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives will go to Donald J. Trump!” he said, as the crowd erupted.

The Constitution says, “The House of Representatives shall chuse (sic) their Speaker and other Officers” — it does not say that the Speaker must be another elected member of the chamber.

“The Clerk of the House agrees with the office of the House Historian, which says the speaker ‘has always been (but is not required to be) a House Member,'” NBC News reported in October 2015, as then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was stepping down and some GOP members were suggesting tapping former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a former GOP lawmaker from Georgia, or former Joint Chiefs Chairman and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“It would have been unthinkable for the most populous house not to have its leader be part of the representatives who were elected by the people,” David Forte, a constitutional scholar at Cleveland State University, told NBC News at the time.

And while the Constitution is silent on the matter, Forte noted that the document’s predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, said members of Congress shall have authority “to appoint one of their members to preside.”

Forte also discussed the likelihood that there would be lawsuits filed by persons affected by laws passed in a Congress whose Speaker was not chosen from elected House members.

“There’s no way the [Supreme] Court’s going to get involved in that. Such internal aspects of each branch of government are appropriately untouchable by another branch. And that certainly would be one,” he said, entertaining the notion that unorthodox or not, the House’s decision on who shall be Speaker would be final.

Later, Gaetz ticked off a litany of left-wing policies he opposes that are currently emanating from the Biden administration.

“I’m tired of the crisis at the border! I’m tired of the critical race theory teaching children to hate each other in our schools! I’m tired of the woke generals who would surrender the Pentagon to the ‘woketopia’ before they would defend our values and our nation and the notion that we are one country,” he added. “We are our brother’s keeper. we love our neighbors, and we will all rise as Americans.”

Continuing, Gaetz urged the crowd to “organize” and “stay together” as Republicans pushed to “break up big tech.”

“And when we do, we will restore this great nation to its true promise, and we will restore Donald Trump to the White House in 2024,” he added to raucous cheers from rallygoers as he concluded his address.

“Thank you for having my back, and let’s go get ’em!” said the GOP lawmaker and author of the recent book, “Firebrand.”

Jon Dougherty

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