Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) claimed he had the votes. He didn’t.
The Florida congressman was roundly mocked on social media Wednesday after he insisted that he had enough votes to demote Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the No. 3 Republican in House leadership, because she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Gaetz even cooked up a conspiracy theory for good measure in case it didn’t happen.
“My concern is that though today we have the votes to remove Liz Cheney, that somehow the establishment’s going to find a way to kick the question, avoid a vote,” he said.
Except that’s not how it unfolded. The vote was held and Cheney easily kept her position in a 145-61 secret-ballot tally.
One of the most pointed replies to Gaetz came from within his own conference as Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) fired back:
Gaetz, a staunch Trump loyalist, has repeatedly attacked Cheney since her vote for impeachment ― even traveling to her state to hold a rally against her.
“We are in a battle for the soul of the Republican Party and I intend to win it,” Gaetz said at the rally last week.
His insistence that he had the votes, followed by Cheney’s easy victory, caused Gaetz’s name to trend on Twitter. But probably not in a way he’d appreciate: