rep rogers restrained from lunging at matt gaetz

Rep. Rogers Confronting Matt Gaetz

Part of a series on 2023 House Speaker Election. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jan 09, 2023 at 02:47PM EST by Zach.

Added Jan 09, 2023 at 11:07AM EST by Adam.

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Rep. Rogers Confronting Matt Gaetz refers to a moment when U.S. Congress Representative Mike Rogers was physically restrained by the face after confronting Matt Gaetz during the 14th round of voting in the 2023 House Speaker Election. Gaetz was one of the Congresspeople withholding his vote from Kevin McCarthy during the proceedings, purportedly causing Rogers to grow angry with him to the point of rage. The moment was called a symbol of Republican dysfunction by many commentators, as well as the viral video becoming the subject of photoshops and memes in the following days.


After the 14th round of voting in the 2023 House Speaker election on January 7th, 2023, the eventual winner Kevin McCarthy approached Congressman Matt Gaetz, a member of the far-right caucus that had refused to vote for McCarthy in the votes up to that point.[8] Gaetz was the final vote in that round and had he voted McCarthy, McCarthy would have won in that round of voting. After the exchange, Republican Congressman Mike Rogers approached Gaetz in a visibly agitated state. Rogers was then restrained by Republican Congressman Richard Hudson of North Carolina, who grabbed Rogers' face to wrest him away from Gaetz[1] (shown below). Representative Tim Burchett accused Rogers of threatening to end Gaetz's career and implied Rogers was "drinking" on the House floor.[3]

Many cameras captured the moment, but the most prominent image of Hudson restraining Gaetz was photographed by Andrew Harnik of the Associated Press (shown below).

Andrew Harnik/AP


Following the altercation on January 7th, 2023, both Gaetz and Rogers confirmed that the incident was past them and that they believed they would work well together in the future,[2] with the two tweeting public apologies on January 8th, receiving over 8,000 likes and 10,100 likes, respectively, in less than 24 hours (seen below).[9]

Despite public apologies, the incident was perceived as symbolic of supposed Republican dysfunction by many critical commentators online. For example, on January 6th, Twitter user @ErickFernandez[4] described the scene as emblematic of the party's dysfunction, gaining 14 retweets and 60 likes in three days (shown below, left). On January 7th, user @esqueer_[5] described the scene as a "complete meltdown," gaining over 1,000 retweets and 9,300 likes in two days (shown below, right).

Erick Fernandez @ErickFernandez Mike Rogers was trying to throw hands with Matt Gaetz on the House floor. Talk about dysfunction. MCCARTHY (R) 215 JEFFRIES (D) 211 OTHERS 4 PRESENT 2 U.S. HOUSE 0:04 1M views OPENING of 118th CONGRESS 14th VOTE FOR SPEAKER LIVE C-SPAN Alejandra Caraballo @Esqueer_ Rep. Hudson grabbed Rep. Mike Rogers by the face after he confronted Matt Gaetz. This happened right after Kevin McCarty Kevin McCarthy also confronted Matt Gaetz. First physical altercation on the floor of the House sknce 1985. Complete meltdown. 2:03 3.9M views C-SPAN ...

Others made memes about the moment following the debacle. For example, on January 7th, 2023, Redditor EqualBoisenberry posted a Dark Brandon meme about the moment in the /r/DarkBrandon[6] subreddit, gaining over 720 points in two days (shown below, left). Also that day, Redditor TheHiveminder posted a photoshop edit of the scene referencing the Waffle House Chair Catch, gaining 38 points in two days on /r/walkaway (shown below, right).[7]


Various Examples

keegan @FranziaMom LIQUID SWORDS 11:52 PM Jan 6, 2023 . ... Andrew Harnik/AF OAP TAP Photo/Andrew Hardik) SOUTHERN CHIVALRY HOUSE REP AROUNENT CLUB'S. AS- debating trick. ruses an old

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