Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) chose former President Donald Trump while casting his vote for Speaker of the House on Thursday, plunging an already chaotic process into further absurdity.
“My vote for Speaker of the House today? Donald John Trump,” Gaetz proudly tweeted.
The vote was cast amid growing tensions between mainstream Republicans and the party’s far-right element, which have spent the last three days fighting over which member should become House Speaker.
The current favorite, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), has now failed to secure enough votes for the seventh time in a row as a result of the party’s rift.
With tensions already high, Gaetz’s decision was widely derided by his detractors as making a mockery of the important vote.
Supporters of the twice-impeached former president, however, openly celebrated Gaetz’s vote.
“Matt Gaetz is enjoying trolling the media, Rinos and democrats,” another user wrote. “This is awesome and funny as shit.”
But not all conservatives celebrated the gesture from Gaetz. Chris Loesch, husband of former NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, argued that the vote was nothing more than a waste given that Trump has already backed McCarthy.
“Why? Trump supports McCarthy and is running for POTUS. Why be performative?” he asked. “This is a serious issue and if there is a real challenger field them. McCarthy isn’t my pick but @chiproytx doesn’t want the job either. Neither does @Jim_Jordan.”
Yet Loesch appears to be in a minority, at least among right-wing Twitter users who continue to celebrate what they see as a worthwhile trolling of the political process.
Despite attempts by McCarthy to make concessions to far-right members of the House, voting has remained deadlocked for the past three days, as the far-right defections have been enough to keep McCarthy from gaining a majority of votes.
Democrats have largely given their support to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
The voting follows Republicans gaining a slight edge in the House in the wake of the 2022 midterms.
An eighth vote is currently underway, with Gaetz voting for Trump again.