Matt Gaetz: GOP storming secure hearings is just like protesting gun violence


The Florida Republican once decried a 2016 House protest against inaction on gun violence as 'turning Congress into kindergarten.'

Days after leading a delegation to storm the secure impeachment inquiry hearing room  — breaking House rules and security protocols — Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is very frustrated that he was not treated as a hero in the media. On Tuesday, he compared his efforts to a 2016 protest on the House floor by Democrats frustrated by inaction on gun violence.

Gaetz suggested it was unfair that when Democrats held a 2016 sit-in demanding action on guns, the media called it "dramatic, captivating, and theatrical," but that his own protest was called "childish" and a violation of norms. He also posted a video of his Fox News appearance on Monday night, where he lamented that the gun protest was treated as "Shakespeare in our modern era" but that here everyone was going to "clutch their pearls and prepare for their next chance to lay down on the couch."

Experts warned that Gaetz's stunt could have imperiled national security. House Republicans improperly entered a secure hearing room — known as a SCIF — and many brought in cell phones, a serious violation of security protocols.

The 2016 House sit-in, by contrast, was on the House floor and presented no national security risk.

At the time, Gaetz — then a Florida state representative and a candidate for U.S. Congress — did not think very much of the protest. In a campaign ad and a tweet, he complained that the sit-in was an example of liberals "threatening our rights by turning Congress into kindergarten." He promised that if voters sent him to Congress, he would "end play time."

Though candidate Gaetz proclaimed in his ad that "playtime is over," now he says he's offended that others are criticizing the GOP's national-security-threating stunt.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.