California Rep. Kevin McCarthy called out the eight House Republicans who sided with Democrats in the historic ouster earlier this month, accusing them of “disrupt[ing] the nation” as he vowed to help Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, become his replacement behind the gavel.
“The real challenge here is eight Republicans did something. No one would have thought that they would work with every single Democrat to disrupt this nation, to remove me as speaker,” he told FOX News on Sunday.
“It has taught people now that why don’t you just go work with Democrats and disrupt government? This will go down in history as one of the biggest mistakes these eight have made in the process,” he continued.
The California Republican faced an uphill battle after verbal onslaught from some hardline Republicans, most notoriously Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, led to the historic de-throning after a majority approved the motion to vacate.
McCarthy’s comments Sunday came as the House reached day 12 without a speaker and turmoil brews with no end in sight in the Middle East. House Republicans now look to elect a new speaker and have nominated Jordan for the role, but he too faces a rough road ahead.
“I talked to Jim last night. He’s talking to every single member, assessing what their challenges are. But we’ve got to be able to work together,” McCarthy said, telling Maria Bartiromo that Jordan doesn’t have the votes needed to win the speakership just yet.
McCarthy threw his support behind the Ohio Republican and Judiciary Committee chairman on Friday, one day after Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., pulled his bid for the gavel. Meanwhile, Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., announced his candidacy for the position, but McCarthy believes Jordan will eventually have enough votes to take over the role.
“Is there a consensus candidate that could get the votes if Jim Jordan does not?” Bartiromo asked. “What about Mike Johnson? Kevin Hern?”
“I don’t think either of them could win. It would come very short. I think Jim Jordan can get the votes,” McCarthy replied.
Bartiromo additionally asked McCarthy if he would consider tossing his hat back into the ring for another shot at the speakership, asking if he could find either Democrats who agree with him enough to lend him their support.
“They created as much chaos [as the eight Republicans]. Every single Democrat chose to create this chaos. I don’t believe in creating a more chaos. I want to put the country first. I’m going to help lead regardless of whatever title I have. I have a responsibility…” he said.
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