Critics Say Matt Gaetz’s Nickname For New House Speaker Is Alarmingly On Point

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called the new House speaker “MAGA Mike Johnson” and onlookers suggested the moniker was, unfortunately, a good fit.

“MAGA is ascendant,” Gaetz told Steve Bannon on the ex-Donald Trump advisor’s podcast on Wednesday.

“If you don’t think that moving from to MAGA Mike Johnson shows the ascendance of this movement and where the power in the Republican Party truly lies, then you’re not paying attention.”

Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, was elected speaker Wednesday following three weeks of chaos after Gaetz prompted the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the role.



Gaetz was angry that McCarthy worked with Democrats to avert a government shutdown and did not acquiesce to other demands of a hard-right faction of lawmakers he led.

Republicans cycled through three nominees before managing to agree on Johnson, who holds extreme views on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights and led a push to throw out the 2020 election results on Trump’s behalf.

Rep. (D-Va.) suggested Gaetz’s name for Johnson was appropriate.

″‘MAGA Mike Johnson,‘” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “House Republicans’ words, not ours.”

, senior adviser to the anti-Trump Lincoln Project group, called on the media to “stop burying the lede” about “MAGA Mike,” adding that he would “do the bidding of” the extremist agenda.

Politico Washington correspondent Rachael Bade said “that nickname is gonna stick.”

And former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) said Gaetz was correct, calling Johnson’s election a victory for the Florida lawmaker.

Other journalists and commentators zeroed in on Gaetz’s remark about “where the power in the Republican Party truly lies.”

“Matt Gaetz keeps being right and it’s kind of annoying,” former Republican National Committee spokesperson Tim Miller wrote.

See some of the other commentary below.

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