On Episode 106 of War Room: Impeachment Rep. Matt Gaetz joined Stephen K. Bannon, Raheem Kassam, and Jason Miller to explain his vote in favor of the War Powers Resolution yesterday.
“There’s a lot of people…who are the base, and who are War Room followers who are saying ‘I think the timing was a mistake’… The Democrats are seeking headlines that say ‘Republicans split with Trump.’ This is all they’re after. The Huffington Post, the CNN, all these guys. Why take this sort of non binding resolution to make this point that is already established within the Constitution?” Kassam asked Gaetz.
“Particularly when you’re considered one of [Trump’s] most loyal guys,” Bannon added.
“The answer to that,” Gaetz responded, “is that I think the President needs to see his allies animating his true beliefs and instincts. I think it’s actually harmful to the President if all of the Republicans look like the pro-war party.”
“I spoke to the President,” the Congressman continued. “He understands my principled view as he understands Rand Paul’s and Mike Lee’s and others who hold the view that we hold.”
“But it is not a good thing for us politically if it looks like all the Republicans are beating the drums for war. Because, as we’ve talked about, I think the reason Nancy Pelosi put this resolution up was to try to cast Trump as pro war to try to divide our movement. I’m trying to show that our movement is the broad movement that encompasses people drawing national security concerns and the more populist wing of our party. It’s always a good time to do that.”
After a short break, Kassam revisited the concerns expressed on social media by War Room followers over Gaetz’s vote for the War Powers resolution.
“Social media isn’t the full arbiter or sole arbiter or even the majority arbiter of sentiment out there. But it’s one way that our audience gets feedback in to us,” Kassam said. “There appears to be a distinction between our Twitter audience and our Facebook audience. We started with the Twitter stuff: why now? The Facebook audience seems to want to know: how do you feel about voting with Nancy Pelosi? They might even agree with you, it’s just on principle why were you standing with the Democrats yesterday.”
Gaetz responded, saying he believes “it’s always a mistake when Republicans and populists define our movement based on the beliefs of others. I think we made a big mistake during the Obama presidency that we were just reflexively against whatever Obama was for. And that allowed Obama to define our movement. I’m not going to let Nancy Pelosi or any other liberal define out movement.”
“If there’s anybody that thinks I’m bosom buddies with Nancy Pelosi – heck, she launched an ethics investigation into me, tried to get me thrown out of Congress. I am Nancy Pelosi’s worst nightmare. But that does not mean that I’m going to allow her to define what I believe by just reflexively opposing every vote she makes.”