Is Gaetz simply seeking publicity?
Florida's Republican Representative, Matt Gaetz is no stranger to courting controversy. Most recently, he's grabbed the headlines on November 17 for claiming live on Newsmax that Kyle Rittenhouse would make a good congressional intern.
Rittenhouse is currently on trial for having shot and killed (or attempted to kill) three protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest in August 2020.
Self-defense or calculated aggression?
The facts of the case are unclear at this point and the trial continues. Rittenhouse, then aged 17 was pictured roaming amongst protesters in August 2020, carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. He claims he had travelled there from Illinois to act as a first aider for those injured in the riot. He claims to have shot three people in self-defense.
Some or all of these facts may be true or partially true, but it does look bad considering that he was voluntarily there with an assault rifle rather than a first-aid kit. He now faces charges of first-degree reckless homicide for killing Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, first-degree intentional homicide for killing Anthony Huber, 26, and first-degree attempted intentional homicide for shooting 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz on the night of Aug. 25, 2020.
What has Gaetz got to gain?
Rep. Matt Gaetz seems mainly motivated by securing some publicity from the trial. He often seems more focused on getting time in the public eye, even if it's as a result of courting controversy. This just seems to be the latest example.
Gaetz has often been seen alongside Rep Marjorie Taylor-Greene as she tries to appeal the most hardline conservatives within the GOP. In July this year, the pair gained unwelcome publicity by holding their joint and ill-fated series of 'America First' rallies in California. Many venues cancelled their bookings, denying them the right to spread hate and divisiveness).
The pair were then forced instead to shoot publicity footage on a California beach, where one Twitter user managed to 'punk' them having posed as a one of the 'America First' loyal. Dressed head-to-toe in stars and stripes, the prankster promptly humiliated Gaetz, making references to accusations that have been filed against him alleging child exploitation. A federal investigation continues.
He might want to pick his company a little more carefully - Taylor-Greene herself is no stranger to controversy, frequently receiving bans from Twitter for spreading health misinformation.
The same would seem to apply to his choice of causes to champion. Does Gaetz really feel that Rittenhouse would be a good intern or is he just using the teenager's case for his own profile-building? The trial continues.
What do you think about Representative Gaetz trying to get himself publicity by leveraging the Rittenhouse trial? Is this good behavior for a standing politician? Let me know in the comments section below.