Geraldo Rivera Confronts Matt Gaetz for ‘Torturing’ Kevin McCarthy Over House Speaker Vote: ‘What Was That For?’ (Video)

“I’ve got some constituents in the military that could talk to you about real torture,” the Florida Republican replied

Congressman Matt Gaetz and Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera got into a heated exchange during Thursday’s episode of “Hannity” after the Florida Republican was asked about his votes against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier this month.

Gaetz was among a group of 20 GOP lawmakers who repeatedly voted against McCarthy. But after 15 rounds of voting and multiple concessions made by McCarthy, Gaetz ultimately switched his vote to “present” to give the California Republican the majority needed to secure the speakership.

“What in the world were you and your 19 colleagues doing torturing the speaker, your speaker, your speaker-designate Kevin McCarthy?” Rivera asked Gaetz. “What was that for? What did you hope to attain in that?”

“So, first of all, I’ve got some constituents in the military that could talk to you about real torture,” Gaetz replied. “I don’t think sitting through 15 votes quite qualifies.”

Gaetz went on to explain what the holdouts were “fighting for.”

“We believe that instead of having omnibus spending legislation that comes to us with only a few hours to consider thousands of pages and then vote on something that funds every agency of the government all at once, that we should take individual votes on appropriations bills. That’s a concession we didn’t have when voting began. It’s one we earned by the time it ended,” Gaetz noted. “We also believe that when bills are considered, they should comport to a single subject so I don’t have to do what I’ve had to do in the past, and vote on the farm bill at the same time you’re voting on whether or not there’s gonna be war powers in Yemen.”

Additionally, he noted that the group wanted “open amendments so Republicans or Democrats could offer germane adjustments to legislation and everyone could take votes on these things.”

“Congressman, with your filibuster right now, you are portraying yourself to the American people as a thoughtful legislator,” Rivera interrupted. “And yet, the publicity that you get – characteristically – almost inevitably is flamboyant, it’s confrontational.”

Gaetz then questioned why Rivera called him flamboyant and confrontational when he made “a substantive argument about changes to the process.”

Host Sean Hannity proceeded to quickly jump in to Gaetz’s defense.

“He answered your very specific question about what he was fighting for,” Hannity said. “My only argument – and Matt and I talked in December, you can verify this as true – my only beef with everybody was I wanted everybody to be in full agreement by January 3rd. Four days, it came and went. Now everybody’s on the same page.”

Watch the full segment in the video above.