Rep. Matt Gaetz, fiery Florida lawmaker and avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, is reportedly set to retire from Congress after his current term to take a gig at Newsmax TV, now the fourth-biggest cable news outlet in the country.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has privately told confidants he’s seriously considering not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress early for a job at Newsmax, three sources with direct knowledge of the talks tell Axios.
Gaetz is a provocative figure on the right who’s attracted attention by being a fierce defender of former President Trump. The Republican also represents a politically potent district on the Florida panhandle.
Gaetz has told some of his allies he’s interested in becoming a media personality, and floated taking a role at Newsmax.
Axios went on to note that it’s not clear yet what sort of role Gaetz is seeking, but it seems rather unlikely that he would simply become a regular news correspondent.
Speculation that Axios is hearing indicates that Gaetz is likely more interested in a role as a regular contributor or even as the host of a new program, as former congressional colleague and current rising star at Fox News, former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, has done.
But does that mean Gaetz done with politics altogether? Not at all, say those who are whispering to Axios correspondents.
In fact, it could be that Gaetz is simply taking on a higher profile media role to shore up his conservative policy bona fides on his way to a larger political role perhaps in a future GOP administration — and maybe even a future Trump administration, should the former president seek a second and final term in 2024.
“Gaetz, 38, went to Florida State University and received a law degree from the College of William and Mary. He served in the Florida House before being elected to Congress in 2016,” Axios continued.
“While the party out of power tends to gain seats in midterm elections — creating the possibility of Republicans’ taking control of the House in 2022 — a prominent spot in the media could give Gaetz a platform for a future national political role,” the outlet continued.
Fox personalities and executives including Bill Shine, John Bolton and Larry Kudlow eventually joined the Trump administration.
For his part, Gaetz already seems to wield power throughout the expansive ‘MAGA’ faction of the GOP. He took his star power to Wyoming in late January to campaign against the House’s No. 3 Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, who already has several Republican challengers for her seat in 2022 (and polling-wise, she is already underwater).
“I think if Liz Cheney had a rally with all of her supporters, they could likely meet inside one of the elevators in the capitol and still have plenty of room for social distancing,” Gaetz told a crowd at the Wyoming Capitol Building.
“It’s the establishment against the rest of us.” Gaetz said as he unleashed on establishment Republicans.
“But, there are more of us than there are of them and we see the fakes and the phonies more clearly than ever before,” he added.