Exploiting the skepticism of American democracy that former President Donald Trump welcomed with his lies about the election's validity, a slew of Republican state legislatures have offered proposals significantly diminishing access to the ballot box, especially for Black and Brown voters. These policies have been affirmed by the conservative Supreme Court.
But with Trump no longer on the ballot, Republicans are looking for ways to drum up enthusiasm among the party's base, which is far more devoted to Trump than the ideals the Republican party claims to advocate.
There's even talk that, if Republicans take back the House of Representatives in the midterms, Trump will be a candidate for Speaker of the House. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy heightened this speculation last month when he claimed that Trump was vying for the position. McCarthy's office later walked this back, assuring that McCarthy meant to say Trump wanted him to be Speaker.
But one of Trump's most vocal supporters in Congress, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, is on board with the plan to oversee the House.
Watch his comments from a recent pro-Trump event below.
Gaetz told the crowd:
"So after the next election cycle, when we take back the House of Representatives, when we send [current House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi back to the filth of San Francisco, my commitment to you is that my vote for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives will go to Donald J. Trump!"
The audience of supporters cheered, but Gaetz's commitment saw a more frigid reception on social media.
Though it's unlikely to materialize, some hope the threat of a Trump speakership will end up boosting enthusiasm on the left to get to the ballot box when midterms come around.
Others noted that Gaetz is currently under federal investigation for his potential role in a child sex trafficking scandal—and an associate of his is cooperating with authorities.
Some speculate that he'll be indicted or even incarcerated by the time the House next votes on a Speaker.