Matt Gaetz: President Trump calls me ‘frequently’ to talk about my television appearances

The congressional Republican has been one of President Trump's most vociferous cable news defenders.
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz debating with CNN's Chris Cuomo on January 24. (Screengrab)
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz debating with CNN's Chris Cuomo on January 24. (Screengrab)
Published Feb. 11, 2018|Updated Feb. 11, 2018

Seldom a night goes by without a Matt Gaetz cable news sighting.

In just the past two weeks, the Republican congressman has appeared on an ideologically diverse constellation of networks to weigh in on the issue of the day. He's discussed congressional oversight of the Russia campaign, the recent congressional spending deal — even his controversial State of the Union guest.

Those television appearances are earning him face time with the leader of the free world.

Gaetz told the New York Times that President Trump often calls to weigh in on the first-term congressman's TV spots.

Trump, who has long been famous for his television viewing habits, is a valuable political ally for Gaetz. The Fort Walton Beach conservative told the Times that in his district, which Trump won by 40 points in 2016, the president is as popular "as oxygen."

But even without the blessing of the man in the White House, there's little downside to Gaetz's media strategy. Plenty of Floridians watch cable news. With every Fox News appearance, Gaetz builds name recognition and consolidates a statewide constituency.

Even when Gaetz drifts into controversy, there's little downside to being a known media commodity. If Donald Trump has shown us anything, it's that all press is good press. Maybe that's what he and Gaetz talk about during their phone chats.