Reps. Matt Gaetz, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale — three of the eight Republican members of Congress who voted yesterday to oust now-former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy — appeared on former Trump strategist Steve Bannon’s show War Room this morning to defend their votes and fundraise ahead of the 2024 election.
Bannon’s influence in right-wing media and the Republican Party ebbs and flows. But he's always available in moments of crisis, and aligned members of Congress flock to his conveniently located studio when there is money to be raised.
It may be a short-term boost, but there are long-term consequences for relying on his platform, Over the years he has almost single-handedly caused Republicans to lose an otherwise safe Senate seat in Alabama after boosting extremist candidate and accused child predator Roy Moore in 2017, led the charge to insurrection in 2020, and boosted a slate of candidates who overwhelmingly lost in the 2022 midterms. As a policy advisor, he's not much better. For example, he once claimed the Biden administration's initiative to cure cancer is a covert operation to eliminate the human race; he has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin and called Russia's invasion of Ukraine a “regional border dispute between two Slavic peoples.”
Bannon is celebrating McCarthy’s historic ouster in the House, hailing “the hard eight” Republicans who voted against McCarthy as heroes.
“We are honored to have two of the leaders of this revolt with us live in the War Room today,” Bannon said.
He spent most of the first hour of his show with Mace and Gaetz, who both defended their “revolt” that has thrown the House of Representatives into chaos. Almost immediately, Mace made a plea for cash.
“The establishment is coming after me, I mean 100% — started last night and I need help, I’m going to need help to get through this,” she said before plugging her campaign website.
Gaetz followed up by plugging his own campaign website and tying his fundraising efforts to Bannon’s audience, who call themselves the “posse,” saying, “The posse won, and the posse was attacked last night.”
The pair offer little specifics on what they are looking for in a speaker going forward, though Bannon seemed to attack Rep. Steve Scalise.
“Jim Jordan, his people are saying he’s inching toward a speaker’s bid,” the host claimed. “I mean, Scalise would be naturally, that would be the logical order if you wanted the same apparatus to run you, that leadership team.”
“I think we would want to hear their vision,” Gaetz responded.
“We’re both open to who the next speaker is,” Mace said in the second segment. “I mean, we’re not asking for a whole lot. Just being responsible and telling the truth. That’s the low bar. That’s bare minimum.”
Rosendale appeared next and argued that “there is absolutely no reason that we can’t continue” the House GOP’s legislative business. Bannon asked Rosendale for his perspective on the succession battle coming up and the representative demurred, saying it’s “great” that “there will not be a coronation, there will be a discussion, a debate, and the No. 1 characteristic that I’m looking for is someone who’s trustworthy.”
Like his fellow travelers Gaetz and Mace, Rosendale also plugged his fundraising.
“The apparatus is coming after you and the other heroic, the patriotic, the hard eight, as I call them,” Bannon said, referring to efforts to unseat Rosendale and the others. “K Street, they’re in shock right now, but they’re regrouping overnight and they’re going to come hard. Where do they go for you, congressman?”
Rosendale then promoted his campaign website and social media before declaring: “This is about fighting for our nation. This is about allowing the Democrats to dictate the terms of how our government functions when we have a Republican majority, and if we’re not going to stand by and allow that to happen and let them push us further into debt.”
Not to be outdone, Bannon, a seasoned grifter, used the opportunity to plug his own hustle: promoting a collection of pamphlets he wrote on a website selling gold-backed retirement accounts. “Make sure you talk to Philip, Patrick, and the guys about the tax-free instruments and opportunities they have for you. But go do it today, you’ve got to be up to speed on everything related to precious metals, the United States dollar, and the debt crisis.”