“I am a huge fan of the vice president and would never consider replacing him. Nobody is considering replacing him.”
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz isn’t planning a run for the presidency and doesn’t seem interested in replacing Mike Pence as vice president.
“I am a huge fan of the vice president and would never consider replacing him,” he responded when the question was posed. “Nobody is considering replacing him.”
Though he flirted with the idea, Gaetz had ruled out running for the Senate in Alabama long before former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville jumped onto the Trump bandwagon and launched his “People vs. The Swamp Tour.”
► RELATED: Gaetz says he won’t run for president in ’24
Truth be told, Matthew Louis Gaetz seems to like where he’s at, what he’s doing and the folks he represents in Florida’s First Congressional District.
“I have the best bosses in the world,” he told a group in DeFuniak Springs on a recent Saturday at an “Open Gaetz” event. “I represent the 700,000 people in Northwest Florida. I wouldn’t trade all of you for anything.”
His comment came in response to a question posed to him about running for president in 2024.
► ALSO: Florida Bar complaint against Gaetz dismissed
So maybe the presidency isn’t a short term goal. Maybe it’s something to consider down the road? After all, the Fort Walton Beach Republican is yet to hit 40, but he’s built a huge national profile through frequent television appearances — almost exclusively promoting or in defense of President Donald Trump.
“I think we have enough current Floridians who want to be president one day,” Gaetz said. “Everybody in politics is looking at the next job. I never thought I’d have this job, so I just don’t worry about it.”
Gaetz got to Washington, fortuitously enough, when then Congressman Jeff Miller decided in 2016 that he was stepping down.
► COMPLAINT: Gaetz ‘in flagrant violation’
At the time Gaetz was a Florida House member struggling to gain traction in a state Senate race against a well-financed and well positioned opponent in George Gainer.
He managed to outpoll a field of challengers in the Republican primary for the U.S. House seat and easily beat the single Democratic opponent.
So there he was, a freshman House member among many House members, when candidate Trump came along. Gaetz was one of the first to grab onto the coattails of the precocious outsider who dared challenge the status quo, and he hasn’t let go since.
► PHOTOS: Matt Gaetz on “The View”
And now people are wondering if Fox News favorite Gaetz would like to be president.
Gaetz’s outspokenness and sometimes controversial behavior — 328 people called the Florida Bar when he staged a raid on closed door House hearings during the impeachment process — have made him some enemies.
One Democratic opponent, Phil Ehr, has raised over $100,000 in his bid to oust Gaetz in November, with many of the biggest donations coming from out of state. A Committee to Expel Matt Gaetz can be found on the Florida Elections Commission website.
► ALSO: Gaetz bullish on defense funding for Northwest Florida
But his constituents seem as devoted to him as he says he is to them. In 2018 he captured about 65,000 of the approximately 100,000 total votes split among three candidates in the Republican Party primary.
This year Gaetz is being challenged for his seat by three fellow Republicans and two Democrats. And while Ehr’s war chest of over $100,000 seems imposing, Gaetz has received more than $1 million in campaign contributions.
He made national news again Thursday when he swore off further campaign contributions from federal political action committees.
► MATT GAETZ: Transparency demands action
In doing so at a speech in front of the Conservative Political Action Conference, he swung hard at the Democratic front runner in the presidential race, a move that will only further endear him to his super conservative constituency.
“Honest capitalism is under attack. Not just from Bernie Sanders, antifa and the radical left — but by special interests and political action committees in the swamp of Washington D.C.,” Gaetz said, according to Politico.