A Republican congressman and member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus admitted last week he “was praying” the GOP would win just a “small” majority in the House of Representatives ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in order to shift the party further to the right, according to video obtained Monday by Fox News Digital.
“When a lot of people, unfortunately, were voting, to have a 270, 280 Republican House, I was praying each evening for a small majority, because I recognize that that small majority was the only way that we were going to advance a conservative agenda,” Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., said during a closed briefing, which The Messenger first reported was “a virtual briefing for around 50 top conservative donors.”
“If it was the right majority, that if we had six or seven very strong individuals, we would drag the conference over to the right,” he added.
Rosendale went on to praise Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a frequent critic of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, for being there “from the very beginning helping accomplish that.” Gaetz, who was seated next to Rosendale in the video, along with former Trump administration official Steve Bannon, introduced a motion to vacate against McCarthy to remove him from the speakership on Monday.
“It always goes back to leadership though, which is what the first battle was about in January, and we have to change that leadership,” he added, appearing to express support for Gaetz’s bid to remove McCarthy.
Fox has reached out to Rosendale’s office for comment.
The congressman’s admission came as different factions of the Republican Party clashed over a deal that would avoid a shutdown of the U.S. government, the main factor in Gaetz’s effort to remove McCarthy. A deal was ultimately reached, but at the dismay of a number of the more right-leaning Republicans in the House, including Rosendale.
Rosendale is considering a run against Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester, who is up for re-election next year. He ran unsuccessfully against Tester in 2018, coming just under 18,000 votes short.
Should he enter the race for the Republican nomination, he would join former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy and businessman Jeremy Mygland.
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