Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., slammed House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mt., over reports that the Montana lawmaker secretly “was praying” for a small House majority before the 2022 midterm elections.
“Maryland Matt Rosendale prays for Democrats to win elections? Did God answer his prayers in 2018 when Jon Tester humiliated him?” Cotton wrote on X Wednesday, hours after Rosendale voted with seven other GOP lawmakers to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
“This is just one of many, many reasons that Maryland Matt won’t come within a country mile of the Senate,” Cotton added, pouring salt in the wound amid reports that Rosendale is considering a 2024 campaign for Senate after his failed bid in 2018.
REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN ADMITS HE ‘WAS PRAYING’ FOR ‘SMALL’ GOP HOUSE MAJORITY BEFORE 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS
On Tuesday, Fox News Digital obtained video of Rosendale attending a closed-door meeting with conservative donors in 2022. “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,” Rosendale told the gathering, 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,” the congressman added.
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Rosendale went on to praise Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a frequent critic of former House Speaker 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.
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Rosendale’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cotton released a statement Wednesday thanking McCarthy for his service as speaker and calling the effort to remove his gavel “foolish.”
“I thank Kevin McCarthy for his service to our nation and the people of California. He helped win two separate Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and used those majorities to advance important conservative priorities. Kevin was the first congressman I met in my long-shot House campaign and I’m grateful for his friendship and support ever since,” said Cotton, who served in the House before he was elected to the Senate.
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“While I regret the foolish decision of a few Republicans to collude with Democrats to remove him from the speakership, I look forward to many more years of friendship and cooperation on behalf of the causes and the country to which Kevin has devoted his life,” he said.
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.