Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) informed reporters he expected the 15th round of voting would elevate him to House speaker. Immediately afterwards, a CNN employee was captured by a “hot mic” making an unprofessional response to McCarthy’s remarks.
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” a female voice may be heard from the studio during the live CNN broadcast.
Fox News further reported:
A hot mic moment from CNN caught someone from the network audibly groaning during remarks being given by House Speaker hopeful Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy, who had gone through over a dozen unsuccessful votes throughout the week in the battle for speaker, may still land the gavel after 15 Republican holdouts switched their votes on Friday, potentially inching his way to the speakership.
During CNN’s coverage of the Capitol Hill drama, Anderson Cooper turned to McCarthy to hear his latest comments.
“We’ll back tonight. I believe at that time we’ll have the votes to finish this once and for all,” McCarthy told reporters. “It just reminds me of what my father always told me- it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. And now we have to finish for the American public to turn around.”
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” a female voice is heard saying on-air.
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There has been speculation that the comment came from Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Karen Finney, who was participating in a panel discussion just before the network turned to McCarthy.
But others online, including the left-wing blog Raw Story, asserted it was CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.
It is unclear whether the groan was in response to McCarthy’s remarks. Fox News Digital reached out to CNN for comment.
McCarthy has been undergoing a historic bruising battle to be elected speaker, facing animosity from within his own party that has so far prevented him from reaching a majority.
At his weakest, 21 Republicans voted in favor for other candidates or voted present. But on Friday, things turned around quickly as the number of holdouts has dwindled to six.
The six Republicans still voting against McCarthy are Reps.-elect Andy Biggs, Ariz., Lauren Boebert, Colo., Eli Crane, Ariz., Matt Gaetz, Fla., Bob Good, Va., and Matt Rosendale, Mont.
McCarthy expressed confidence to reporters that he can finally seal the deal during Friday night’s 14th vote.
It is unclear whether he will be successful in flipping any of the six remaining Republicans, but could also be a factor is the number of members who show up for the vote, which can effect the threshold total McCarthy needs to reach a majority instead of the traditional 218 benchmark.