As part of a deep dive in the sudden rise of controversial Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a Democrat ripped into the brash lawmaker who has become one of President Donald Trump's most ardent and visible defenders, saying he has "the most punchable face in Congress."
According to the report by the Daily Beast, Gaetz has become a lightning rod for criticism after it appeared that he threatened Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen before he appeared before Congressional investigators -- leading to charges that Gaetz should have his law license revoked.
As the Beast notes, "First elected to Congress in 2016, Gaetz has drawn attention to himself with near-constant appearances on Fox News talking up the perceived illegality of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian intrusion in the 2016 election. His fervor for the president and disdain of the Mueller investigation is reflected in his legislative record."
Depending upon which side of the political aisle one resides, opinions are sharply divided on the controversial lawmaker.
“He excites young people,” explained Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) in an interview with the Beast. “He's doing a great job representing his district. Obviously, he's raising his profile nationally, but he's a hard-working, smart, new voice in the Republican Party.”
Asked about Gaetz's antics, Stivers politely ducked the question, saying, "Matt does provocative things at times, but Matt is a great, young, hard-working, smart member of Congress who's effective."
A Democrat who asked to not be identified had a slightly different take, saying Gaetz is rapidly approaching Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) for tops in unlikeability in Congress.
"I should show you the texts from me and my brother every time he's on TV,” the lawmaker said in an interview. "We rank him as one of the top two assholes in Congress. My brother said 'he has the most punchable face in Congress.' I said, 'I thought Ted Cruz is still No. 1. He's No. 2.'”
Gaetz's Republican opponent in the recent primary election echoed some of the Democrat's criticism.
“The thing about it is, you know, how do some of these funny stories start? ‘Florida Man,’” businessman Cris Dosev told teh Beast. “People here in Northwest Florida don’t appreciate being conjoined to crazy stunts and embarrassing events.”
You can read more here about Gaetz.