A Republican source is indicating that the “knives are out” for GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy following a lackluster performance for the party in the midterms.
McCarthy had widely been viewed as the likely Speaker of the House if Republicans delivered on their ‘red wave’ promises. But they didn’t. House control is still up in the air as of this morning, and even if they take control it appears it will be by a slimmer margin than anticipated.
Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich received a text from an unnamed source that indicated the results could be perilous for the California lawmaker.
“Knives are out for Kevin McCarthy,” the source wrote. “If he is under 225, expect Scalise to make a move quickly for speaker.”
Steve Scalise (R-LA) had been speculated to be McCarthy’s number two guy just days ago.
Second GOP source sees below tweet, texts me “Knives are out for Kevin McCarthy, if he is under 225, expect Scalise to make a move quickly for speaker” https://t.co/AQF55yZaGM
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) November 9, 2022
Will Kevin McCarthy be Speaker?
While conservative pundits are actively conducting a social media autopsy of just what the hell happened to last night’s red wave, Kevin McCarthy continued to express optimism about his chances of being House Speaker.
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“Now let me tell you, you’re out late,” he told a crowd of supporters late Tuesday. “But when you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority.”
“When you wake up tomorrow, we will be in the majority and Nancy Pelosi will be in the minority.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 9, 2022
It’s very likely to wind up being a true statement. The problem for him is, if the margin between Republicans and Democrats is thin, staunch conservative lawmakers will wield more power.
“The conservative House Freedom Caucus was set to have more sway, with lawmakers like Rep. Marjorie Talor Greene of Georgia set to take an outsized role,” the Daily Mail reports.
Shortly before 2AM, McCARTHY finally arrives at the GOP election night party. It’s a short speech:
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) November 9, 2022
Just a ‘Puppet’?
Conservatives have begrudgingly gone along with the idea of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, fully expecting a massive midterm election wave for Republicans.
But the actual results may have changed the calculus.
“A lot of rank and file members of Congress right now though are thinking to themselves that we need new energized leadership that is going to be focused on the working class voters,” a GOP source told Heinrich.
More from this GOP source: “A lot of rank and file members of Congress right now though are thinking to themselves that we need new energized leadership that is going to be focused on the working class voters” https://t.co/r6MiimeojO
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) November 9, 2022
Audio surfaced this past April of McCarthy criticizing former President Donald Trump and some of his most resolute allies in Congress, even suggesting their social media accounts be banned.
The clips revealed McCarthy speaking with Scalise regarding concern over fellow Republicans – particularly America First Representatives Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Mo Brooks (R-AL) – ‘putting other lawmakers at risk’ with their comments about the 2020 election.
He said that referring to Republican candidates not willing to fight the election results as “anti-Trump” was “serious stuff” that “has to stop.”
“Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?” he asked.
Recording of Kevin McCarthy talking about Matt Gaetz: “I’m getting a briefing, I’m going to get another one from the FBI tomorrow—this is serious sh*t,”
Steve Scalise: “Yeah, that’s – I mean it’s potentially illegal what he’s doing.”pic.twitter.com/o1olhAPQhA
— Brad Bo ☮️🇺🇸 (@BradBeauregardJ) April 27, 2022
The shocking comments prompted Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson to eviscerate McCarthy.
“Those are the tape-recorded words of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, a man who in private, turns out, sounds like an MSNBC contributor,” he said.
Carlson warned at the time that McCarthy becoming Speaker “would mean you would have a Republican Congress led by a puppet of the Democratic Party.”
Tucker Carlson Calling Out Democrat Party Puppet @GOPLeader
“In a phone call reported today by the NYT, Congressman Kevin McCarthy told his close friend Liz Cheney that he hoped the social media companies would censor MORE Conservative Republicans in Congress.” pic.twitter.com/HRQMzaVva5
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) April 27, 2022
Prior to the midterms, Kevin McCarthy was already telling anybody who would listen that he had no intentions of pursuing impeachment for President Biden.
“I think the country doesn’t like impeachment used for political purposes at all,” he said. “If anyone ever rises to that occasion, you have to, but I think the country wants to heal and … start to see the system that actually works.”
NEW in @PunchbowlNews AM — MCCARTHY on investigations if House Rs take the majority.
TOP LINE: @GOPLeader is quite bearish on impeachment.
Check out what he told us pic.twitter.com/jboHv9NPoX
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 19, 2022
With a narrow margin, it’s likely McCarthy would have to bend the knee to some more conservative members of the House in order to win the speakership.
And that might be the one silver lining to come out of these midterms.
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