- Rep. Matt Gaetz said he thinks the death of Rep. Jamie Raskin influences his work in Congress.
- “The country shouldn’t be going through all that with him,” Gaetz said this week.
- Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler quickly came to Raskin’s defense.
Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz said this week he doesn’t think his Democratic colleague, Rep. Jamie Raskin, can do his job in Congress properly because his son died by suicide.
Gaetz made the comments Tuesday during an episode of MTG: Live, which GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene broadcasts to her social media sites. Lawmakers discussed the work of the selected House committee investigating the Capitol riots, including Raskin.
“No one would ever want to lose a child, especially not to suicide, and as human beings our hearts go out to him,” Gaetz said of Raskin. “I think he takes that trauma and now associates it with his work in Congress in such an intertwined way that he’s unable to do the Congressional experience outside of the dungeon of that personal trauma.”
The Florida congressman said he thinks it has led Raskin to “view everything in these very dark and serious ways” and that it “clouds his judgment.”
“The country shouldn’t be going through all that with him,” Gaetz continued.
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 9, 2022
Raskin, who has served in Congress since 2017, lost his 25-year-old son, Tommy, by suicide in 2020. The Maryland representative and his wife published a tribute to their son’s life days after his death. Raskin also invoked the loss of his son in early 2021 when explaining why he decided to serve as impeachment manager for the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump: “I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and my country and my republic in 2021. “
When a clip of Gaetz’s comments circulated on Twitter, some of Raskin’s Democratic colleagues came to his rescue.
“@RepRaskin is a greater statesman, congressman, human than most of us. History will remember him. Tommy was a remarkable person and a testament to his parents’ love,” New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. tweet†
She also called Gaetz “a bad haircut in a cheap suit” and “a feat of mediocrity.” Gaetz replied in a tweet who said, “A lot of people like my hair” and “My suits are cheap. Sorry.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler from New York too tweeted: “@RepRaskin is a wonderful father, a selfless civil servant and an American hero in every sense of the word. Matt Gaetz should strive to be even half of the patriot and good-hearted person that Mr. Raskin is.”
A representative for Raskin did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.