More division within the Republican Party
On December 8, one of Florida's most outspoken and occasionally divisive Republicans - Congressman Matt Gaetz - took to Twitter to express his disgust at another member of the GOP who had recently declared that he had no interest in either supporting the one-term former president Donald Trump, or in being endorsed by him.
Ohio Republican Craig Riedel was speaking on 'Real America's Voice' with Charlie Kirk, and during his interview was unrelenting in wanting to distance himself from three-time loser Trump.
As Riedel put it when asked if he was looking for a Trump endorsement, in comments that clearly riled Florida 'firebrand' Matt Gaetz:
"I am not... Donald Trump - he's a different person than me. I don't like the way he communicates. I think he is arrogant. I don't like the way he calls people names - I just don't think that's very becoming of a president."
Given his background and past-remarks about the one-term former president, it's easy to see why Florida's Matt Gaetz has been quick to criticize Riedel, dismissing him as a RINO (meaning Republican In Name Only). Trump in return has been equally full of praise for Gaetz, in spite of the Florida Republican occasionally crossing the one-term former president, making mistakes and mis-steps.
Gaetz predicts trouble if Trump is crossed
In describing Craig Riedel as a never-Trumper, it could just be that Gaetz is warning him not to cross the three-time loser. Gaetz has previously been vocal in warning others of the consequences of not taking Trump seriously.
In September, Gaetz appeared on a podcast and made some damning statements that could have real consequences for him and for Donald Trump.
During his interview, Gaetz discussed the potential consequences if Trump were to be removed from the ballot of potential Republican candidates. As Gaetz put it:
"I really worry that that type of action could lead to violence. And I am so wildly opposed to violence. I don't think it's how we should resolve our disputes."
"But when you start telling people that they can't express their participation in this American experience through a vote, then they start looking for other ways... I worry if they start to take the vote away, you could see bloodshed in this country like none of us want."
His remarks may have been intended to be mere speculation rather than incitement. Only he will know.
Saying the wrong thing, again
While Gaetz went to lengths to point out that he disagrees with the notion of Republicans expressing their outrage through violence, some will feel that his comments are poorly timed. They bring to mind the January 6 insurrection, and remind people of the lengths that some will go to when they feel they've been wronged through politics.
This is the second time in two months that Gaetz has made such a mistake too. In August, while standing alongside three-time loser Trump at the Iowa state fair, Gaetz addressed the crowd and remarked that the only way to achieve political change at the current time, was through force.
Whether there will be any consequences for Craig Riedel, in losing the support of Trump and his followers besides Gaetz, remains to be seen.
Do you think that Florida's Matt Gaetz should be quite so fanatical in his support of the one-term former president? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.