Attendees at the Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner guffawed from their dinner tables when Republican Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina gave a succession of sick burns aimed at prominent GOP members in under a minute.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle gathered at the 77th annual dinner and engaged in a night of toasting and roasting one another.
However, the so-called “lighthearted quips" turned wince-inducingly brutal when Mace slammed Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California and former Republican President Donald Trump in a jaw-dropping one-liner.
Mace invoked former adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels–who Trump paid off after allegedly having an affair with her in 2006–to make a quip about how McCarthy finally won the House Speakership.
“Did you watch McCarthy during the Speaker’s vote?"
And then she dropped this zinger.
“I haven’t seen someone assume that many positions to appease the crazy Republicans since Stormy Daniels."
Amid the sounds of gleeful "oohs," Mace informed everyone that:
"It only goes downhill from here, people!”
Up next for Mace to take aim below the belt was Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, who voted against McCarthy 14 times before declaring "present" in the 15th round–which sealed the deal in McCarthy's favor.
Last month, Mace appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan and called Gaetz “a fraud” on national television.
She denounced Gaetz for belittling the constitutional process by sending out a fundraising email for every time he voted against McCarthy during the House Speaker election.
“Well, let’s be honest. We all knew that Matt Gaetz would never let the vote get to 18.”
The joke about Gaetz’s alleged sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl left attendees completely gobsmacked.
Mace twisted the knife further with:
“I do have a message for Matt this evening. He really, really wanted to be here tonight, but he couldn’t find a babysitter—to be his date, I mean. Come on.”
After her jab at Gaetz, Mace told the shocked crowd:
“I know everyone thinks Republicans aren’t funny, but if you get a bunch of us together, we can be a real riot."
You can watch Mace on a roll behind the dais, here.
Twitter weighed in with their observations on the absence of loyalty from the evening.
Republicans and Democrats saw a common target prime for roasting in embattled Republican George Santos who is still under investigation in New York for possible campaign finance violations and potential fraud and an outstanding warrant in Brazil.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York referenced Santos' spurious claim he was "a proud American Jew."
“But I’m not just Jew-ish. I’m the real thing, baby!”
Mace joined in with a dig at New York's notorious pathological liar and simultaneously recognized gun-toting Republican Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
"Come on George."
"You’ve given Republicans a bad name, and that’s Lauren Boebert’s job."