House Republican calls conservatives opposing McCarthy ‘childish’
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) on Tuesday dismissed the idea that a group of hard-line conservatives had a viable alternative to Speaker-hopeful Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) waiting in the wings, instead saying the lawmakers are only opposing McCarthy to gain notoriety.
“This is such a childish attempt at gaining more and more attention,” Crenshaw said on Fox News ahead of the Speaker vote on Tuesday. “They’ve got nobody. And even if they did, I promise you, there’s a ton of Republicans who will not vote for them.”
McCarthy has been unable to secure the necessary votes to become Speaker ahead of Tuesday’s vote, despite offering key concessions to the hard-line holdouts, including allowing a move to “vacate the chair,” which would trigger a vote to oust the Speaker, with the approval of just five Republicans.
Some of McCarthy’s opponents have teased this week that they have a hidden alternative candidate to McCarthy that they say will become apparent after the first vote for Speaker on Tuesday. Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) suggested on Fox News on Monday that the group had refrained from publicly naming the alternative candidate to shield them from “attacks and retaliation.”
But Crenshaw said the far-right lawmakers were floating the idea of a McCarthy alternative just to continue to garner media attention.
“They keep acting like they’ve got somebody in the wings — they’re just waiting,” Crenshaw said. “They’re like children … you know why they say it like that? Because they want you to interview them again.”
Crenshaw also said the attempt to block McCarthy from the Speakership was making the Republican House conference look “foolish,” and that the Democrats were celebrating the disarray it was causing.
“If I didn’t know any better, it’s like the Democrats paid these people off,” Crenshaw said. “The Democrats are cheering. The Democrats are so happy that this is all happening because these guys and these girls wanted to make this happen.”
McCarthy needs 218 votes to become Speaker, and his path to victory remained unclear Tuesday morning. He spoke to lawmakers at a meeting with the House conference Tuesday, with Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) saying McCarthy was “fired up” as he spoke.
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