GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz is keen on running for the presidency in 2024 if Donald Trump decides not to run. Gaetz is pushing for the top job despite concerns of tax collector 'wingman' Joel Greenberg flipping on him in sex trafficking probe.
Gaetz, who said he hasn't formally launched an exploratory committee, is facing a federal investigation into allegations of sex trafficking of a minor, a sexual relationship with a minor and potential public corruption, among others.
Although the Congressman has vehemently denied all the allegations, he needs to come through unscathed from the charges made by Greenberg. That said, moments after Gaetz expressed his desire to run for presidency, he became the subject of trolls on social media users, with some even saying that he will be in jail by that time.
Gaetz' Big Dream
"I support Donald Trump for president. I've directly encouraged him to run and he gives me every indication he will," the Florida Republican sent a text message to the New York Post on Wednesday. "If Trump doesn't run, I'm sure I could defeat whatever remains of Joe Biden by 2024."
Gaetz also told the Post that he hasn't formally launched an exploratory committee yet as everything depends on Trump. However, Gaetz has already gathered a lot of experience being on the campaign trail.
He's joined Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, another controversial member of the party, at rallies in Florida and Arizona, which can shape him into a seasoned campaigner in the days to come.
Besides, Gaetz traveled to Wyoming earlier this year. Wyoming is the home state of Rep. Liz Cheney, where Gatez held a rally against her after she split with the party and voted to impeach Trump. Cheney has since lost her No. 3 leadership post in the House GOP over continued Trump criticism.
Tough Road Ahead
Much like Gaetz, Cheney too is open to running for president in 2024, according to the Post. Another source told the outlet that Gaetz could also run as an assist to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, another prominent Florida man.
That said, Gaetz first needs to come clean on any claims made by Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector who pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud and sexual offenses earlier this month. Gaetz is being investigated for allegations of sex trafficking of a minor, a sexual relationship with a minor and potential public corruption in addition to a Congressional Ethics investigation.
Earlier last week, Greenberg told investigators that the Florida Republican and at least two other men had sexual contact with a 17-year-old girl. Gaetz, although has vehemently denied all the allegations.
"I'm not too worried about Joel Greenberg," Gaetz told Newsmax last week, adding," Joel Greenberg is literally sitting in jail right now because he originally accused someone who was innocent of having had a relationship with a minor. That wasn't true, it was just a false thing that Joel Greenberg had said and that's landed him in quite a bit of trouble."
Gaetz rose to national prominence after first being elected in 2016, making a name for himself as one of Trump's most trusted lieutenants. However, he has found few friends within the House GOP conference, with his penchant for political stunts and embrace of self-promotion proving to be a thorn in leadership's side. But his unapologetic brand of conservatism has landed him a devoted fan base among some far-right supporters.
Gaetz Gets Trolled
Moments after Gaetz said that he plans to run for presidency in 2024, social media users started slamming him given the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and trafficking he is facing. "There is no parallel universe in which Rep. Matt Gaetz is president. However, in all of those universes, Gaetz is holding the pockets of his prison companions," one user tweeted.
Another user wrote: "Rep. Matt Gaetz eyes presidential run in 2024. I'd vote for satan first."
"There's just one tiny little problem with Rep. Matt Gaetz running for president. You can't run if you're in prison," mocked another user on Twitter. "If Rep. Matt Gaetz isn't in prison in 2024 then I'd love to see him be the first nominee to drop out," yet another wrote.