McCarthy explains why GOP chaos could result in Democratic lawmakers 'picking who the Speaker is'
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recently issued a warning to his Republican colleagues about the dangers of "playing games" over the next five weeks.
On Monday, November 28, McCarthy appeared on Newsmax with host Sean Spicer. During the interview, he explained how Democratic lawmakers could still end up deciding the next Speaker of the House if Republicans opt to play political games during such a critical time.
The conversation began with Spicer acknowledging how some Republican lawmakers have already expressed interest in voting against McCarthy being the next House Speaker.
“We’ve had a couple of these folks that say that they won’t vote for you on the show," Spicer said. "When we ask them what they want. They list a couple rules, and concessions that they want. And we say, well, if you get those concessions, will you vote for McCarthy, ‘Well, we’re not sure.’”
McCarthy weighed in with his take on the intraparty battle currently brewing within the Republican Party.
"Well, then who do you want your candidate to be? ‘We don’t know that.’ You know, one can’t one of those people suggested Jim Jordan, he supporting you, Marjorie Taylor Greene is supporting you, Donald Trump supporting you.
You’ve raised, what, $500 million? Some of these people, you’ve actually funded their races. The thing that I don’t understand is I don’t envy your task. These folks aren’t giving you a target. I get your point. There’s no alternative. Everybody has voted for you. The conference has spoken. And as James Comer at the top of that clip said, you know, you’ve earned the opportunity. You were the quarterback, the coach that led them to the big game and won."
“So the question is, going back to what Lindsay said. You’ve got five people that you’ve laid out all your cards out there. What is it that you are able to say to them that is going to change them at this point to get you 218?” Spicer asked.
McCarthy recalled what happened the last time Republican lawmakers controlled the chamber. "Well, we have to listen, but you have to listen to everybody in the conference because five people on any side can stop anything when you’re in the majority. I think when you look at the past history, when Paul Ryan ran, he had more people vote against him in the conference, and then they voted for him on the floor."
The California lawmaker went on to discuss their plan of action going forward as they close the year out to prepare for 2023. "We got five more weeks. We’re working through our conference rules today," he explained. "We want to make sure that everybody has input, but we have to speak as one voice. We will only be successful if we work together or we’ll lose individually."
He added, "This is very fragile that we are the only stopgap for this Biden administration. And if we don’t do this right, the Democrats can take the majority. If we play games on the floor, the Democrats could end up picking who the speaker is."
According to McCarthy, now is a time for "calmer" lawmakers to take centerstage. He added, "So I think at the end of the day, calmer heads will prevail. We’ll work together to find the best path forward. And I believe at the end of the day, since I’ve been leader, all we’ve done is been able to gain seats. We have not lost seats."
He concluded, "We’ve won seats each and every time where the rest of the Republicans have lost. So I think at the end of the day, we’ll find the right path and we’ll make the American public proud of what we’re able to accomplish and turn this economy back around because we’re going to focus on the people, not on politics."
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