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Tags: kevin mccarthy | house | speaker | gop | leader

McCarthy Maintains Delicate Balance With Eyes on Becoming Speaker

Kevin McCarthy speaks into a microphone
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 9, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 24 February 2022 10:27 AM EST

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is walking a political tightrope as he aspires to become the next House speaker, The New York Times reported.

Polls show that Republicans are in a good position to reclaim control of the House, and possibly the Senate, in November's midterm elections.

McCarthy, therefore, is in line to become speaker — if he can continue to appease both the moderate and conservative factions within the GOP House conference.

Since President Joe Biden took office, McCarthy has tried to solidify his support among conservatives by condemning Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan Jan. 6 select committee — comprised of Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

McCarthy even defended the Republican National Committee after it passed a resolution to censure Cheney and Kinzinger.

He also has endorsed Cheney's primary challenger Harriet Hageman.

Immediately, after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, McCarthy called for then-President Donald Trump to be censured, stating on the House floor that Trump "bears responsibility" for inciting the demonstrators.

Now, McCarthy speaks to or visits the former president nearly every other week, the Times reported Thursday. Still, current and former aides to Trump describe McCarthy’s relationship with the former president as cordial but lacking any loyalty.

McCarthy seems to have deflected a potential challenge from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who remains closer to Trump, the Times said.

It also appears the leader's differences with GOP Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., a potential challenger for speaker, have been defused.

"I didn't know him at all before, and I didn't take it personally,” Rep. Ronny Jackson, R- Texas, told the Times of McCarthy not supporting his 2020 primary campaign. "I think he's earned an opportunity to lead the conference."

Jackson was White House physician under Trump.

House moderates are backing McCarthy, too.

"Leader McCarthy is very astute, sharp and savvy," Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, told the Times. "He has been able to not focus on the differences but find where we can come together on policy choices."

However, McCarthy continues to have his detractors, mostly on the right.

"There was probably a time when it made sense to have someone like Kevin McCarthy, but we need new leadership in the House," Joe Kent, a former Special Forces officer trying to unseat Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., told the Times. "He's used to a different era.

"Our job is to obstruct and impeach, not to cut any deals."

Herrera Beutler also was among the 10 House GOP members who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol attack.

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, while appearing on Rep. Matt Gaetz's "Firebrand" podcast, said McCarthy was a "RINO" ("Republican in name only") and should not become speaker.

"The party needs strength," Dobbs told Gaetz, a strong Trump supporter. "It needs vision. It needs energy, vibrancy, and new blood in leadership. It’s that simple."

To become speaker, McCarthy will need at least 218 votes because the position is a constitutional official elected by the whole House.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is walking a political tightrope as he aspires to become the next House speaker, The New York Times reported. Polls show that Republicans are in a good position to reclaim control of the House, and possibly the Senate, in...
kevin mccarthy, house, speaker, gop, leader
510
2022-27-24
Thursday, 24 February 2022 10:27 AM
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