GOP Lawmaker Eviscerates His Own Party on CNN: ‘Some Real Scumbags’


U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) called a faction of his Republican Party colleagues “some real scumbags” in a Sunday appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, delivering a rant so “intense” it appeared to shock the show’s host, Dana Bash.

The vicious words came in defense of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who’s facing ouster threats from some of the GOP’s most far-right members, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), for successfully shepherding through a bill allocating $95 billion in military aid to support Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

He also took issue with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), whose inter-party beefs and headline-grabbing sex scandal has distracted from the chamber’s day-to-day duties.

“It’s my absolute honor to be in Congress, but I serve with some real scumbags,” Gonzales said. “Matt Gaetz, he paid minors to have sex with him at drug parties. Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) endorsed my opponent, a known neo-Nazi. These people used to walk around in white hoods at night. Now they’re walking around with white hoods in the daytime.”

With a look of bewilderment, Bash responded, “Wow, OK.” She then clarified to viewers that federal authorities decided to not pursue charges against Gaetz.

“What you just said at the top of this discussion was intense,” she added.

The evisceration came out of seemingly nowhere, as Gonzales, a Navy veteran who represents a portion of San Antonio and Uvalde, has in the past refrained from bashing his party, despite withstanding heavy criticism from his colleagues for supporting federal gun-safety legislation. He’s otherwise been a steadfast repeater of Republican talking points since he joined Congress in 2021.

The congressman was clearly peeved on Sunday, however, saying he’s “tired” off the party’s fringe politicizing at every opportunity, suggesting the continued drama surrounding the House speakership is getting in the way of governing.

“Members are tired,” he said. “We’re exhausted. It has been a brutal Congress. But we’re also dug in and, for some reason, these fringe people think as if they have the high ground—they do not.”

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Gonzales fingered his colleagues as bullies and said that, to defeat them, “you bloody their nose, and that’s where we’re at.”

The lawmaker added that Johnson has governed in an “honorable way” and that he believes he’ll survive a push to vacate if it comes to that point.

Gonzales’ appearance drew the attention of many on the right. Gaetz posted to X that Gonzales went on an “unhinged outburst” while he was “laundering lies on CNN.” He urged voters to back his GOP primary opponent, Brandon Herrera.

Herrera also commented on the appearance, saying his opponent is in a “death spiral.”

“This is the death spiral ladies and gentlemen,” he posted. “He has to cry to his liberal friends about me, because Republicans won’t listen anymore.”

Even the disgraced former lawmaker George Santos got in on the bashing, writing that Gonzales used to “lobby me hard core for some kind of amnesty push he was planning.”

“Tony is at best an ‘occasional Republican’ and doesn’t stand for anything conservative,” Santos wrote.

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