Florida congressman Matt Gaetz is facing backlash after attending a New York Young Republican Club event that appears to have disregarded guidelines meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
At least 150 people attended the annual gala at Maritime Parc in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park on Thursday night. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday blasted Gaetz, describing him as a "putz" and a fool."
"It is beyond the pale that anyone would willingly endanger people in another state, never mind their own. It is also beyond the pale that a member of congress would participate in this," the governor said.
In response to the uproar, Gaetz sent out a misspelled tweet urging business owners to move to Florida to escape the "tyrany" of coronavirus restrictions.
Dear Business Owners - Escape the Tyrany. Move to Florida. https://t.co/GwRbWNIU6z— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1607102982.0
In two other tweets, the pro-Trump Florida congressman also addressed the governor's comments directly.
You’re gonna regret this tweet when you move to Florida like the rest of New Jersey. https://t.co/zVYjvEYF0I— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1607107800.0
Thank you for calling me handsome, Governor! I’m only considered handsome in New Jersey, though. In Florida I’m b… https://t.co/HeRZcyTxXJ— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1607109214.0
"I can't believe people voted for this tool," one person wrote in response.
"wtf kinda clapback is that?!" said another Twitter user. "hire a social media person matt."
See some more responses below:
@mattgaetz Gaetz, do you regret being a congressman and partying while staff at the Maritime Parc had to serve you… https://t.co/77P2pr2BTR— Amanda (@Amanda)1607108150.0
People here in Florida are dying and suffering financially from #COVID19 because of leadership like Matt Gaetz are… https://t.co/l6518UuerF— David Weissman (@David Weissman)1607109302.0
@mattgaetz @stclairashley Jesus Christ you are stupid, Matt.— Bird Peterson (@Bird Peterson)1607109379.0
Everyone that’s praising @mattgaetz for his cute little marijuana speech today needs to take a chill pill and remem… https://t.co/OB7vTMToWG— Icculus The Brave (@Icculus The Brave)1607108271.0
I feel like now is a good time to remind Matt Gaetz of when he was too stupid to understand why a COVID treatment f… https://t.co/AIJhATmIG1— Steve Hofstetter (@Steve Hofstetter)1607107497.0
Matt Gaetz' smarminess and contempt for respecting people's health has no bounds. And for all the people in this pi… https://t.co/1pSWPoCE9q— Logan Levkoff, Ph.D. 🦁 (@Logan Levkoff, Ph.D. 🦁)1607107272.0
@mattgaetz Republican logic - Social distancing and wearing a mask to slow the spread of the worse pandemic of our… https://t.co/YOFajgs66M— Ricardo De La Tortuga (@Ricardo De La Tortuga)1607110414.0
@mattgaetz I cannot believe we have people in Congress who can’t even spell the word “tyranny” WITH autocorrect...— Lord Youth (@Lord Youth)1607108474.0