Gaetz Forgives GOP Colleague for 'Animated Moment'

Rep. Mike Rogers had to be held back from Florida congressman during House speaker vote
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2023 7:30 AM CST
Gaetz Forgives GOP Colleague for 'Animated Moment'
Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, left, pulls Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., back as they talk with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and others in Washington on Friday. At right is Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-NC.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A "tense moment" during the House speaker vote last week has died down, with the two main players now extending olive branches. The incident involved Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was a holdout against voting in Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker, and Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, an ally who seemed on the verge of physically attacking Gaetz between the 14th and 15th ballots on Friday. In an AP photo that's since gone viral, Rogers can be seen being restrained by another GOP colleague, Rep. Richard Hudson. Although some, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, anticipated consequences for Rogers after the confrontation, Gaetz seems to now be brushing the whole thing off, per NBC News.

"I don't think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment," Gaetz wrote of his colleague, adding Rogers had his "forgiveness." He noted that the two had had a "productive, working relationship" for six years, and predicted "we're going to work together wonderfully going forward." Shortly after, Rogers responded in kind, similarly noting their past dealings and optimism for the future. "I regret that I briefly lost my temper on the House Floor Friday evening and appreciate Matt's kind understanding," Rogers wrote.

CNN reports more on what went down during the encounter between Gaetz and a frustrated Rogers, the latter of whom was said to have threatened to kick the holdouts against McCarthy off their committee assignments. When he tried to get in Gaetz's face, Rogers said, "Matt, you're finished," sources tell the news outlet.

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Meanwhile, another House Republican is also dismissing the near-altercation. "Sometimes democracy's messy, but I would argue that's exactly how the founders intended it," Rep. Jim Jordan told Fox News on Sunday, per Rolling Stone. "They wanted real debate, real input from all people." Fox details some other times in US history when congressmen and senators have actually come to blows. It's not clear if there will be any repercussions for Rogers. (Read more Matt Gaetz stories.)

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