Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) subbed in for Newsmax TV’s Greg Kelly during a Friday hosting gig that social media users say crossed a “new line in right-wing entertainment.”
Gaetz kicked off Kelly’s program with commentary about the debt limit talks on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and Democrats are negotiating over increasing the country’s borrowing limit to avoid a federal default.
“If the debt limit is raised, is the spending really going to meet the needs of our country?” he asked, with a graphic reading “debt ceiling madness” displayed alongside him. “Or is it increasingly fueling and funding a government that has lost its way, gone feral or — even worse — turned against our beloved countrymen?”
Gaetz, who had reportedly considered a Newsmax job before the network passed on him in 2021, also lambasted President Joe Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness as it faces challenges in Washington.
“Hardworking Americans are asked to subsidize the $80,000 degree in intersectional gender studies for their now-underemployed Starbucks barista,” the Florida Republican said.
Gaetz: If you’re confused, your eyes not failing you and Greg Kelly did not suddenly get better hair. I’m Matt Gaetz… Greg has the night off and I have the biggest stories driving Washington DC right now pic.twitter.com/gXmzp14zcl
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 27, 2023
Gaetz: Now hard working Americans are asked to subsidize the $80,000 degree in intersectional gender studies for their now underemployed Starbucks barista pic.twitter.com/452RwekMhE
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 27, 2023
Elsewhere on the show, Gaetz suggested that the wife of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who faces calls for impeachment over his alleged abuse of office, could serve as a juror during a potential state Senate trial.
Gaetz also spoke with Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who said Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would perform well in 2024 primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire and possibly South Carolina.
“He might do very well in South Carolina, particularly if the South Carolinians see the futility of their mission in terms of [former] Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott,” Roy said, referring to two presidential candidates from the state.
But Gaetz doubted the suggestion about DeSantis’ primary prospects, due to the competing candidacy of former President Donald Trump.
“I think President Trump has a pretty high floor,” he said. “And the shade you throw at the viability of the South Carolinians is noted.”
Speaking to Mediaite, a Newsmax source criticized the congressman’s hosting gig, calling it the “Worst idea I’ve heard in a long time.”
The network appearance, which came months after Gaetz guest-hosted a podcast run by former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon, also caught flak among Twitter users who questioned the Republican’s “anchorman cosplay” this week.
Why is he hosting a news show? What are the people of Florida paying him to do? He’s a sitting member of Congress. https://t.co/aUKD867QIQ
— Decoding Fox News (@DecodingFoxNews) May 27, 2023
Imagine a "news" organization just handing the microphone, camera and set over to a partisan to say whatever they wanted, unchallenged.
But this is Newsmax, not news.
— Dave Keon's Cousin (@DaveKeonsCousin) May 27, 2023
Great, Gaetz should go to Newsmax and get out of politics.
— 🌻 Justice Now ⚖🌟🇺🇸 (@ChrisJustice01) May 27, 2023
Matt Gaetz is a sitting member of congress whose salary comes from the federal treasury and there’s a debt ceiling issue https://t.co/xcqj94aWQ8
— Outspoken™️ (@Out5p0ken) May 27, 2023