(The Hill) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Tuesday called on House Republicans to expel Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and defeat his motion to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his post.
In a scathing op-ed published in The Washington Post, Gingrich attacked the Florida Republican as “anti-Republican” and said Gaetz was engaging in “childish behavior” and “has become actively destructive to the conservative movement.”
“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,” he wrote.
Gingrich ripped Gaetz for what he described as egocentric behavior and for distracting from issues that could be damaging to Democrats.
Gingrich added that Gaetz was in violation of a House Republican Conference rule that says a 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 argues that an agreement made when McCarthy became Speaker to allow any member to advance a motion to vacate did not supersede the conference rules.
Gingrich even invoked former Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) recent criticism of Gaetz in which she said Gaetz had no sway in the conference “except to get on TV and to raise money on the internet.”
Gingrich, who has been active in politics since leaving the House, recalled times when he fought against other GOP leaders, including when he fought against then-President George H.W. Bush’s tax increase in 1990.
“Unlike Gaetz, though, when I rebelled, I represented the majority view of the caucus at the time,” he wrote.
Gingrich, an ally of former President Trump, is often credited with leading Republicans to victory in the 1994 congressional elections, which saw Republicans take back the House for the first time in decades.
His advice on Gaetz runs counter to a warning from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who earlier this week warned against efforts to expel Gaetz.
“[A] Republican led effort to expel Matt Gaetz absolutely will not be tolerated by Republicans across the country,” Greene wrote in a lengthy thread on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
“I can guarantee you that. Remember when 11 R’s voted against me and 10 R’s voted to impeach Pres Trump? Both the [motion to vacate] and expulsion plans are wrong.”