Donald Trump Ally Matt Gaetz Wants More GOP Leaders With Outgoing President's 'Spirit'

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has spoken of wanting more Republican leaders with the "spirit" of outgoing President Donald Trump in order to continue to energize his base of supporters.

Gaetz has been an ardent defender of Trump and pushed back against the backlash faced by the president following the Capitol riot on January 6.

"Throughout the country we see tremendous support for the president among the base, because folks support the policies that put our country and our people first," he said on Fox News.

"But inside the beltway of Washington, D.C., even the Republican Party isn't immune from the temptations of the establishment."

He went on to criticize House GOP Conference Chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who has faced backlash from some colleagues after she voted for Trump's impeachment, and said she represented an "antiquated version" of Republicanism.

Gaetz said in order to "continue to harness the energy of the Trump movement" that the Republican Party "needs more leaders who will actually animate that movement with the spirit and style of our outgoing president."

Sharing this clip on Twitter, he wrote: "The Establishment GOP adheres to an antiquated version of Republicanism.

"The Republican Party needs more leaders who will animate the Trump movement with the spirit and style of our outgoing president."

Gaetz has previously faced criticism for his comments following the Capitol riot, having made suggestions of antifa agitators having prompted the violence. Many Republicans still believe this could have been the case, according to polling, despite some antifa rumors having been debunked.

Newsweek has contacted Gaetz for further comment.

The Establishment GOP adheres to an antiquated version of Republicanism.

The Republican Party needs more leaders who will animate the Trump movement with the spirit and style of our outgoing president. pic.twitter.com/HqVxSQHQMo

— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 20, 2021

While Trump has been met with widespread criticism in the wake of the Capitol riot, with lawmakers from his own party breaking rank to admonish him, polling has indicated many Republican voters still think the party is improved by his involvement.

The outgoing president spoke of the Trump movement "just beginning," stating this in his farewell message.

"Now, as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on Wednesday. I want you to know that the movement we started is only just beginning. There's never been anything like it," he said. "The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle but instead only grow stronger by the day."

Previous polling has tipped him as the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Trump has also hinted at potentially considering running for president again.

Gaetz has said he thinks the candidacy will be handed to Trump on a "silver platter" if he wants it. "I'll support him, and I think the field will be mostly clear apart from some people that have ambition that outsizes their political sense," he said on Fox News' The Next Revolution.

He also said he expects Trump's legacy to age "like a fine wine."

matt gaetz at house judiciary subcommittee
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020 on Capitol Hill. He has spoken of wanting more GOP leaders with outgoing President Donald Trump's "spirit." Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images